COMMERCE CITY, CO - MARCH 19: Quincy Amarikwa #12 of the Colorado Rapids runs past Jack Jewsbury #13 of the Portland Timbers at Dicks Sporting Goods Park on March 19, 2011 in Commerce City, Colorado. The Rapids defeated the Timbers 3-1. (Photo by Michael Martin/Getty Images)
After playing two very tough road games and a hard fought home game in less than two weeks time - that's three games in ten days - the Colorado Rapids are a bit beat up. Pablo Mastroeni has been missing since the FC Dallas game, and it's obvious that without him, the Rapids aren't the same team that we're used to seeing. His ability to create attacks through the midfield with perfect passing and his great set-up for counter attacks can't be matched by anyone on the team. Conor Casey has also been out for the Rapids and against Real Salt Lake, back up striker Quincey Amarikwa had his ankle creamed by Chris Wingert, a tackle bad enough to have a card earned for it.
With so many players missing due to injury after that tough three game stretch - the Rapids went 1-2-0 during that stretch although an argument could certainly be made that they should have been 1-1-1 if not for a terrible call by the linesman in the last seconds of the RSL game giving Salt Lake a goal that should not have counted - the eight day stretch this week that includes this weekend off couldn't have come at a better time for the banged up Rapids.
The next game against the Seattle Sounders will be a slightly easier match-up simply because it's at home unlike the Salt Lake and Dallas games but hopefully the eight days between RSL and Seattle on the 22nd will be enough for some healing to happen in the ranks of the injured Colorado team. Starting left back Anthony Wallace - injured in the Dallas game and held out of the Salt Lake game - was good enough to be on the bench last time at least and should probably get a start against Seattle.
The bigger injury questions will be if Pablo Mastroeni and Conor Casey might be able to get healthy in time for the game. Casey's hamstring injury took place occurred on the 3rd of April against DC United, and will have had 19 days to heal before Seattle, with a 2-4 week prediction of when he would be healthy at the outset of the injury. With Mastroeni and Amarikwa were both originally listed as out indefinately so we won't know about them until right before the game most likely, but considering Pablo's injury was really just a strained calf from the outset, I'm optimistic on him.
Either way, even getting one or two of the four injured guys back - specifically the three starters - will be a welcome boost to the Rapids.