Zapata, Rivero to miss the season opener?

HONOLULU, HI - FEBRUARY 21: Luis Zapata #32 of the Colorado Rapids works out during a preseason training session on the campus of the University of Hawaii on February 21, 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Rapids are preparing for the Hawaiin Islands Invitational Soccer Tournament. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

On Wednesday evening, MLSsoccer.com's Colorado Rapids beat writer Chris Bianchi put out a couple of tweets that made it seem like new left back Luis Zapata might have to miss the season opener against the Columbus Crew on Saturday. The Terrace posted early on Thursday morning that both he and Martin Rivero could get stuck out of the opener thanks to some red tape keeping them from being able to play in the country, alongside Kohei Yamada.

With Hunter Freeman also out with an ankle issue and Anthony Wallace down for the count for pretty much the entire 2012 season, that pretty much depletes the entire left back depth chart on the Rapids roster except for Drew Moor - who has shown ability to shift to left back before - Scott Palguta or perhaps Wells Thompson.

If Zapata misses the opener - assuming Palguta doesn't bribe Pareja for playing time - I'd expect to see the Drew Moor - Marvell Wynne - Tyrone Marshall - Kosuke Kimura back four that punctuated most of last year's injury spat. It was fairly effective last season, so not the worst case scenario by any means. It's just not the best time for every left back on the team to be out of the team.

EDIT: Zapata has been cleared to play and will likely be in the starting lineup Saturday.

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