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A masked Schuler could appear against Chivas, but would Salcedo do just as well?

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Schuler could be making a return shortly, with Jeff Cassar reporting that the domineering center back has been involved in full training for the last few days.

Of course, Schuler's now been fitted with a mask, which, considering his face is rather broken, is a positive development. It sounds like he has another doctor's visit before he'd be cleared to play — maybe — but that's mostly to see if anything around his eyeball has shifted.

So, yeah, it's a pretty serious injury.

Schuler might be in-line for a start tonight, but it's hard to feel really strongly about him needing to risk anything. Some players risk their lives for the sport — usually that's through concussions, and it's maybe down to more of an ignorance about that part of it — but there's no reason for that now. If there's any substantiated risk, Schuler will sit out — and rightly so. I don't care if we're in the CCL final — it's vital that his safety is considered. (On another note, I wish we were in the Champions League ... sigh.)

Schuler could play. Alright. I'd accept that if it happens, and I think we'd be better off for it, especially heading into the playoffs. But Carlos Salcedo has been deputizing at center back capably and without much controversy. His achilles heel in the past had been his once-a-game error that turned out to be costly; these last few games with him in the starting lineup haven't seen that. It turns out — and this is shocking, I know — that playing consistently makes it easier to cut out errors from your game.

Salcedo's still not a Chris Schuler yet — and he doesn't have to be. He's a different sort of center back, and while he's probably not quite at the same level of Schuler, a couple years will see him be right there. He's a good communicator (on the field, I mean. I don't know about in relationships. Probably, but I hope he doesn't just yell like he does when he plays.) and an intelligent defender.

I'm not worried. Whoever plays tonight, we'll be alright — at any rate, it's not the solidity of our defense that's in question when we play Chivas. Yeah, they can score an odd goal or two, and they'll probably want to, but it'll be more about how the midfield copes and positions themselves.