The Colorado Rapids have an off weekend from Major League Soccer play and will be using it to get a few more bodies healthy but when they resume play on Wednesday, September 9 at Vancouver Whitecaps the Rapids will be facing a bit of a lineup crisis:
Dillon Serna--he is away at U-23 USMNT Camp and may not be available for selection
Kevin Doyle--he is with Republic of Ireland for Euro 2016 Qualifiers
Maynor Figueroa--he is with Honduras for friendlies against Venezuela and Ecuador
Drew Moor--suspended due to yellow card accumulation
Axel Sjoberg--suspended due to yellow care accumulation
Charles Eloundou is on loan with Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
John Berner is on loan with Charlotte Independence
Carlos Alvarez is on loan with Charlotte Independence
Marlon Hairston is on loan with Charlotte Independence
Caleb Calvert is on loan with Charlotte Independence
The Rapids currently have 29 players listed on their roster and for the Vancouver match they could have as few as 19 players available for that game.
In a word: yikes.
This should make the decision for a starting lineup easier for Pablo Mastroeni as he has fewer players to choose from in this critical match.
Or does it.
This is a match where the Rapids MUST get a result. Losing is not an option.
So how do you play this one? Do you go offensive? Or do you sit back and try and hit on the counter.
Based on what we have seen this year and taking into consideration Pablo Mastroeni and his coaching style it is clear that the Rapids will more than likely look to absorb Whitecaps pressure and try and catch them on the counter.
OK, but who do you play? And how should the Rapids set up based on that information.
I have got to think that the Rapids will drop into a 4-2-3-1 formation and might go with this:
GK: Clint Irwin
DEF: Marc Burch, Sean St. Ledger, Bobby Burling, James Riley
D-MIDS: Marcelo Sarvas, Sam Cronin
MIDS: Nick LaBrocca, Dillon Powers, Vicente Sanchez
F: Gabriel Torres
Now, I think Pablo will actually start Juan Ramirez for LaBrocca or possibly Lucas Pittinari, but both will be the wrong moves and LaBrocca has better awareness on the pitch then either Ramirez or Pittinari and offers enough on the offensive end to not make it a gamble.
Jared Watts is an X-factor here for me. If he is healthy (and it is too early to tell) I could see him out there either along the back line or possibly in a D-Mid role.
And don't forget the Rapids will have a match three days later against D.C. United.
So what do you think Rapids fans? Who would you start against Vancouver? Hit us up in the comments and let's have this debate!