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Rapids Roster- RuhRoh!

With Sarvas suspended, Badji, Burch, and Cronin ailing, and three games coming up in the next nine days, we're likely to see some lineups we haven't seen before.

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Thursday the MLS disciplinary committee revealed that Marcelo Sarvas will be suspended for two matches for his stomp on Clint Dempsey in the April 18 match against the Sounder. That match already displayed a depleted Colorado Rapids roster, as Steve Cronin, Marc Burch, and Dominique Badji were already out.

On top of that, the Rapids enter a stretch of playing three matches in the next 9 days; home against FCD, away at NYRB, and away against LA Galaxy. All tough games: FCD were embarrassed 4-0 by the Rapids at home and will be seeking their revenge; NYRB is the best side in MLS right now, on a scorching run under new coach Jesse Marsch. And LA is an underperforming club loaded with talent and looking to right the ship a little.

Additionally, Lucas Pittinari, as I mentioned in Backpass, is (according to the statistics) the least effective player out there this season, and I can't imagine new stat head Padraig Smith hasn't notice.

Lastly ,the Rapids are going to have to rotate the squad a bit, considering that a lot of players will not be fully recovered from Friday by their Wednesday match. Dillon Serna and Shane O'Neill just played the majority of the match for the USMNT U23s. By the time they get to LA, this team is gonna look like a frat house after a four-day kegger.

With that in mind, here are two lineups I expect to see in the next three games:



Burch, Moor, Burling, Harrington

Watts, LaBrocca

Sanchez, Powers, Ramirez




Riley, Moor, Sjoberg, Harrington

O'Neill, Pittinari

Torres, Powers, Serna


OK. Here's why.

First, I'm assuming this team will keep in the 4-2-3-1. Even though we are missing our two most effective CDMs, I doubt the Rapids feel comfortable monkeying with their formation to compensate for a lack of experienced players at those slots. Pablo seems committed to the 4-2-3-1, and he's likely to let some players with defensive chops and that haven't seen the pitch yet give it a go. I also expect that in NY and LA, we'll be looking to grind out a 1-0 or 1-1 result.

Irwin can start all of them because goalkeeper fatigue isn't nearly the factor it is. But McMath should get a start, because even though Irwin is a brick wall, he deserves a break and at a logical time. If McMath doesn't start one of these games, you have to ask why he was sent here at all.

Harrington has been the most reliable factor in a Pablo lineup, so he's likely to start all the matches. Moor's leadership means he likely plays every match for the foreseeable future. Burling to me is less of a sure thing. He stepped out last week to cover Neagle last week; and got burned on both goals. He's a good defender who had a bad week, but when your team has already played 8 defenders this season, a bad week can (should) result in a rethinking of the best back line. Both Riley and Burch have done their job well, so its probably smart to have both of them get starts to take advantage of fresh legs, assuming Burch is back from his rib injury.

The Defensive midfield is honestly the thing that made me want to write this in the first place: the Rapids front office went out and got Sarvas, Cronin, and Pittinari in the offseason. Two are out, one has been lousy. So maybe you led Watts and LaBrocca try and get it done. And maybe, since he isn't getting much time on defense and he's got the mobility and technical ability to play upfield a little, you try Shane O'Neill at CDM. The other healthy midfield option, Alvarez, played more on the wings last year.

The Offensive Midfield and striker, well that was easy. That's a list of everyone who plays offense. And if Badji's not healthy, expect Eloundou to play one or both games. It seems a bit thin, then, on the bench for attacking options, so I'm hoping we see Caleb Calvert or Marlon Hairston join the team at Red Bull Arena.

All of this is a little bit of what *I'd* do, and what I think Pablo Mastroeni will do. So? Is this what you'd expect? Is this how you'd line up?