COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — It’s a shame Benjamin Franklin wasn’t alive to see Major League Soccer.
If he had been, perhaps Franklin’s famous quotation would have read, “The only things certain in life are death, taxes and Colorado Rapids lineup changes.”
A suspension and a return from a suspension will once again alter Oscar Pareja’s lineup for Saturday’s home clash with slumping Chivas USA (9 pm ET, MLS Live), with the Rapids looking to extend their unlikely unbeaten run to five games.
Defender Shane O’Neill will be suspended for the game at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park following a red card that he picked up late in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with San Jose. Marvell Wynne, who only returned from injury last Saturday, is expected to shift to center back in O’Neill’s place, while veteran Brian Mullan is the favorite to shift back into the lineup at right back in Wynne’s place.
“It will be very appreciated by his body,” Pareja said of the decision to rest Mullan for last weekend’s game in San Jose. “I thought that was a good decision.”
MATCH PREVIEW: Streaking Rapids host struggling Chivas USA
Good news, however, is on the horizon for Colorado as well. Striker Edson Buddle, who had scored in consecutive weeks before his one-game suspension for last weekend's draw at San Jose, will be available Saturday night and is expected to pair up top with speedy rookie Deshorn Brown.
“Things happen for a reason,” Buddle told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “I had played three games in seven days, so maybe it was time for a rest, and I took advantage of it.”
Despite the constantly shifting lineup and a never-ending list of injuries, however, the Rapids are hoping to continue rocketing up the Western Conference standings, where they currently sit in fifth.
“We need to win games at home,” Pareja said. “What you do on the road shows up when you get your points at home.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.