With most of the Colorado Rapids sitting in a hospital room right now - Jamie Smith's surgery on his ACL was successful, by the way - the question of who is going to start tomorrow against Sporting Kansas City is murkier than most of us would hope for. A quick refresher on who's down: Conor Casey, Anthony Wallace, Pablo Mastroeni, Jamie Smith, Caleb Folan, Kosuke Kimura, Drew Moor and as an added bonus, Tyrone Marshall because of that questionable red card he received will all be missing from the game.
Quite the crew, you'll notice that six of those players are starters and two of them are the first guys off the bench in most cases. That doesn't bode all that well for the depth-depleted Rapids. So who'll start tomorrow?
Up at striker is actually fairly easy since that's both the Rapids' deepest position and the position that has been ravaged the least in comparison to the amount of players available. Look for Omar Cummings to get the start up top with either Mac Kandji or Sanna Nyassi, unless Andre Akpan has a really good argument for getting in there or Quincy Amarikwa slips something into Gary Smith's coffee that morning.
In the midfield it's a little less easy because of both Pablo and Jamie out. Jeff Larentowicz will be in the center of course and Brian Mullan should stay on the wing, but we can't be sure that Gary Smith won't put Wells Thompson on defense because of the complete lack of numbers back there. The only other wing option that the Rapids really have is to put Ross LaBauex or maybe even Eddie Ababio out of position on the wing if Wells isn't down there. The other central position is a little easier to figure out since Joseph Nane can't really play any other positions. LaBauex is also an option though if Gary keeps Wells on the side.
Defense is where it gets really ugly. The only starters we have left back there are Marvell Wynne and Miguel Comminges - thank goodness for that signing! - and Wynne is likely going to be forced to play right back unless Eddie Ababio gets called in; he might have to with the lack of CBs they have out there. Scott Palguta is really the only other central option that the Rapids have except for Mike Holody, and I think we'd all rather not see Holody in a game with any real meaning to it. On the left expect Comminges unless Gary Smith feels like trolling us all and starting Danny Earls.
Either way, this entire situation is a mess. Here's my projected lineup for the game, avert your eyes if you must.
Cummings - Nyassi
Thompson - Larentowicz - LaBauex - Mullan
Comminges - Palguta - Wynne - Ababio
Yeah. You were warned.