Coaches often say that the spine of their team - from goalkeeper up the middle to the striker - is a team's strength. Well the Rapids already thin core took another hit on Saturday when holding midfielder Pablo Mastroeni and center back Diego Calderon (above) were forced out of the match at LA with injuries by the 38th minute.
Mastroeni, who missed the last match with a hamstring strain, pulled his left quad against the Galaxy and was replaced by Tony Cascio in the 27'. The injury was not a recurrence of his hamstring issue.
Calderon then suffered a right quad contusion when he hit the post while clearing a ball off the line. The Ecuadorian was replaced by Chris Klute in the 37', which cause a shift across the back line. Klute went in at left back, Brian Mullan moved from the left to right side, and Marvell Wynne moved from right to center.
Last week Colorado lost goalkeeper Matt Pickens to a broken arm. They had previously lost attacking midfielder Martin Rivero to a broken foot, last year's leading score Jaime Castrillon to offseason knee surgery, and have yet to see striker Edson Buddle as he continues rehabbing from a knee injury. In addition, midfielder Jaime Smith's hamstring tightened up at training on Thursday and he was unavailable for Saturday's match.
Not injury related but definitely a key part of the spine, center back Drew Moor received only his second career regular season red card against the Galaxy. The ninth year defender's ony previous red card came on July 24, 2009 while a member of FC Dallas.
When the match ended, the Rapids had five players on the field who had a combined 10 pro starts: Irwin (1), Klute (1), Shane O'Neill (0), and rookies Deshorn Brown (4), and Dillon Powers (4).