Jeff Larentowicz took a situation from bad to worse when he earned a yellow card at the end of Colorado's 2-1 loss to Toronto FC. That was his fifth yellow card, which earned him a suspension for the next Rapids game. Unfortunately, he chose the worst possible game to earn such a suspension, as the Rapids play Real Salt Lake in their second Rocky Mountain Cup match on Saturday.
Fortunately, Salt Lake will be missing a key player of their own -- Kyle Beckerman got suspended during Salt Lake's last game against the San Jose Earthquakes due to a boneheaded run in with the referee during a scuffle between the two sides.
Both teams are missing a defensive talisman in the midfield, so who has the advantage? Well, Salt Lake will probably miss Beckerman a bit less than Colorado will miss Larentowicz, especially with the untimely releasing of Harrison Henao. Only Joseph Nane and Shane O'Neill remain in the defensive midfield corps for the Rapids with the ginger ninja out. Larentowicz certainly hasn't been his brilliant self so far this season, but he has remained at the very least a steady, defensive presence in the midfield which is always a necessity against the powerful Salt Lake attack.
Either way, the game got a lot more tactically interesting for Oscar Pareja with his pivot man out at the bottom of his now favored diamond 4-4-2 formation.