We present, without (obvious and declared) opinion, a list of players that have been injured (or recovering from injury) and missed matches this season that would likely otherwise have started or appeared as a substitute.
Nick Rimando: Missed April 5 draw with Kansas City, April 12 draw with Philadelphia Union.
Tony Beltran: Missed April 5 draw with Kansas City.
Chris Schuler: Missed March 8 win over LA Galaxy, March 15 draw with San Jose
Chris Wingert: Missed April 5 draw with Kansas City.
Luis Gil: Missed April 12 draw with Philadelphia Union, April 19 win over Portland Timbers.
Joao Plata: Missed March 29 win over Toronto FC, April 5 draw with Kansas City, and April 12 draw with Philadelphia Union.
We've left out players like Rich Balchan, who might have played, but the preferred player started instead. We have no easy way of evaluating whether those players selected instead played through injury. Robbie Findley is left out with a long-term recovery, because he wouldn't have been expected to start at this point. Jordan Allen isn't listed because, while he's appeared when fit, he's not yet proven himself as a guaranteed substitute.
It is more than a little remarkable that through seven games, those players have missed significant games and we've come out with results. We're unbeaten, but we've had to worry about injuries to six of our 11 starters. I suppose that's an opinion, and I've broken my promise above.
We also know we've had some difficult games in the early going - against teams that have had to gear up early for CONCACAF Champions League competition.
The point is, though, that we've played difficult teams, been put in difficult situations, and we're still doing well. Long may that continue.
It has, at times, not made our gameplay look stellar. We've struggled to be as effective as we could be. We've lacked on the defensive end and the attacking end. But in the end, we've excelled where we maybe weren't expected to, given our circumstances.
We have a lot to improve upon, and the coaching staff surely knows this. But it's early days yet - not more than two months into the season - and there's plenty of time to really get going.