It's been a while since we've pulled this one out, but sadly the recent circumstances of injury have made it a necessity. Omar Cummings and Marvell Wynne have both been taken off the team for close to a month with injury, adding to a bushel of other injuries the team has suffered lately.
Just how bad is it though? That's where the Scott Palguta Depth Meter comes into play. It's worth a look anyway since the team has decided to stick out a new 4-4-2 formation after ditching the old and ineffective 4-3-3.
For the uninitiated, the Palguta depth meter measures just how close we are to seeing below replacement-level players like Scott Palguta hit the field as a starter. One Palguta head is ideal, as it means there's plenty of depth to spare. Four heads means that we have hit peak Palguta, watch out!
Fortunately for us all, forward is still not a problem even with Omar Cummings getting knocked out. Conor Casey has come back right on time to take over the offense from Omar, and they just got a good new signing named Edu added to the list of possibilities as well. Kamani Hill has looked wonderful as the SuperSub this season and Tony Cascio is proving that he can play both midfield and forward well in the big leagues.
And that's before we get to Quincy Amarikwa and Andre Akpan.
PALGUTA LEVEL: 1
Pablo Mastroeni and Ross LaBauex have both already been out for quite a while so that's been a problem for a while, but past those two it's fairly close to sunshine and roses territory for the midfield right now. Jeff Larentowicz is still in and he's shown plenty of times this season that he is still one of the most important pieces on the team bar none. Martin Rivero and Jaime Castrillon are scoring now and Brian Mullan has finally figured his game out again on the wing, which is always a nice thing. Past that starting four guys there is a bit of an issue with depth but Harrison Henao was brought in to help alleviate that a bit.
PALGUTA LEVEL: 2
Hoo-boy. Marvell Wynne is pretty important to this team, you can see why when you watch Drew Moor pair up with the slow and more ineffective Tyrone Marshall. Of course, the only real depth at center back behind Marshall is Palguta, so it's kind of a lose lose situation until Marshall figures out what he was doing right at the start of last season and starts doing that again. Perhaps some Red Bull mixed with cocaine will get the old man's engine rolling again?
Both full back positions are well taken care of at least, and I suppose that Eddie Ababio was being given some reps at CB so it's not all that bad. Still, losing Wynne for a long time just goes to show how important he is to the usually strong Rapids defense.
PALGUTA LEVEL: 3
So are the injuries bad? Sure. It's nowhere near as bad as it was last season though, and until it is we can't really complain all that much. If we do, we're probably just tempting fate, oh dear.