Revolution coach Steve Nicol may lose the services of influential midfielder Shalrie Joseph for this weekend's encounter with Kansas City.
The Grenadian international midfielder clashed with reserve striker Jaime Holmes during Thursday's training session. The result was a broken nose that forced Joseph to visit a specialist on Friday, leaving his status for this week and future weeks uncertain.
"He's going to see a specialist today to see whether or not he can play," said Nicol. "We don't know if he can play or not. He can say he can play, but the problem is that he's hit the bone."
With the potential loss of Joseph from the lineup, the Revolution would have five projected starters out of the lineup for Saturday's match. Clint Dempsey, Steve Ralston, and Pat Noonan are away with the United States national team, while Avery John was called into Leo Beenhakker's revamped Trinidad and Tobago squad.
"We've lost five guys," said Nicol. "That's half a team. We've got some decent players. We've always said we had a decent squad."
Joe Franchino returns to the starting lineup for the first time since the second match of the season. James Riley is poised to shift to the left wing to accommodate Ryan Latham on the right wing, with Marshall Leonard dropping to left back to fill John's role. Jose Cancela continues in place of Dempsey in the center of the park, while Khano Smith will replace Noonan up top.
With multiple changes in the lineup, Nicol worries that the mistake-free soccer practiced by the visitors could pose problems for his makeshift side.
"[Kansas City] does not take chances," said Nicol. "They are solid and keep it tight. If you make no mistakes, you should be alright. With the changes in our lineup, we'll have to guard against making those mistakes. When we lose the ball, we have to get back and be solid."
Nicol knows that he will need the support of the home crowd to push his battered side towards a ten match unbeaten run.
"We need the crowd to get behind us," said Nicol. "We need some encouragement."
Kyle McCarthy is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.