My initial response to my question is: why the hell not? The season is teetering on the edge, so would it really matter?
The easy answer is, sure, let's do it! But to make such a dramatic change, especially for a team this defensively challenged, further analysis is required. And I have to admit to a certain amount of bias with certain players, so please take this into account when I lay this out. Also, this is not reflective as to who may be here in 2015 and who may not. This is just fun musing from a Rapids supporter who likes to think about stuff like this.
To recap, the Colorado Rapids have run some variant of the 4-4-2 for the bulk of 2014, whether it was a flat 4-4-2 or a 4-4-2 diamond formation. The Rapids, when healthy and with the personnel they have, can run a 4-4-2 well, but with the current level of injuries, they just can't. So I thought, what the cuss, let's start dreaming.
Here is my proposed 3-5-2 lineup:
GK: Clint Irwin
Left Back: Chris Klute
Center Back: Marc Burch
Right Back: Marvell Wynne
Center Defensive Midfielders: Jose Mari, Nick LaBrocca
Left Wing Back: Vicente Sanchez
Right Wing Back: Dillon Serna
Attacking Midfielder: Dillon Powers
Strikers: Deshorn Brown, Gabriel Torres
Substitutes: Joe Nasco, Thomas Piermayr, Gale Agbossoumonde, Kamani Hill, Marlon Hairston, Carlos Alvarez, and Edson Buddle
So why even suggest this?
1) At this point, what is the harm? It is not as if the Lads are playing at a level that suggests playoff team
2) They are extremely depleted in defense and need to be conscious of this.
3) If they run two Defensive Midfielders (LaBrocca and Mari) they can drift further back and help when needed which then shifts the formation to a 5-3-2 when the lads are on defense.
4) The Rapids have speed and with Serna and Sanchez on the wings they can push forward and deliver better service to Brown and Torres.
5) Torres gets more PT in this scenario, which he needs. With all due respect to Pablo Mastroeni and Buddle, Torres needs to start.
6) Dillon Powers can act as the talisman for the offense and take service from Mari and LaBrocca and act as field general. With him in this role, he can distribute to Serna and Sanchez or send it forward and use the speed of Torres and Brown.
7) Powers can also track back as needed to play defense which in turn addresses one of the Rapids big problems: stopping offensive attacks.
I know this is a bit of a radical thought, but the Rapids are not in the place where they can play it safe. They need to take some risks and results have gone their way, so they are not as "out" of the playoff race as they could be. Is the 3-5-2 the ultimate answer to our Burgundy Boys making the playoffs? Honestly, I don't know...but at this point, with the injuries they have, why not? If it leads to a playoff berth, I am all for it.