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Beltran, Wingert on yellow card warning, but caution should be thrown to the wind

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Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With Chris Wingert and Tony Beltran both sitting on yellow card warnings — one more and they'll sit out the next match in the playoffs — playing like they are could be damning.

There's only one game left right now, and there's only a possibility of playing another. Beltran and Wingert will both be abundantly aware of this fact. Playing like there are more games — games which they'll not want to be suspended for, should they actually come into being — leads to an untenable cautionary approach.

Tony Beltran earned his yellow with a late sliding tackle on Landon Donovan after a poor sequence of possession from RSL. His tackle was perhaps a little unwise, but in terms of protecting the team, it may have been the right approach. Donovan is brilliant in his transition play, and he had just been placed in a spot where he could light a spark to ignite the game.

Chris Wingert's was similarly brought about by a poor tackle, and it was again a dangerous situation that was made less so by play stopping. This one seems less tactical on first glance, but Wingert asserting himself over Gyasi Zardes, the player he fouled, could have involved some sort of mind games. (I know those are a thing, but I couldn't tell you when something is an instantiated version of the theory I understand — excepting some rare cases when it's exceedingly obvious.)

This leaves us in a precarious position. If — and that's a big if — we progress and one or both players are out, Rich Balchan's available to play on either side, but he's only played once in recent memory, and that performance was less than stellar. Abdoulie Mansally can play on the left, and he's been taking part in spot duty sporadically.

But that's not something Beltran and Wingert don't have to worry about. That's a potential future version of our team that would have to worry. If we let this sort of thing get to us, we'll essentially be killing that potential before it has a chance to be realized.

Let the tackles fly in, and if we get an opportunity, we can worry about the repercussions later.