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Will RSL have any players left for Saturday? Predicting the lineup against Columbus Crew

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake's injury and suspension woes have been in a strange, oscillating pattern through the season. From week-to-week, the players absent have gone back and forth, and at times, the squad's looked fairly complete.

But once again, incomplete is the order of the day. Jamison Olave and Chris Schuler are likely set to be absent again, and Elias Vasquez is apparently still in Guatemala while the U.S. State Department sorts out technical issues with their visa system. Alvaro Saborio has already departed for international duty.

Demar Phillips and Javier Morales are both set for an absence, and while RSL Communications has confirmed to us that the club has appealed one of the two red cards from Wednesday's, match, we won't know until this afternoon — and we don't know which suspension is being appealed.

That means a back line of Aaron Maund and either Justen Glad or Phanuel Kavita next to Abdoulie Mansally and Tony Beltran is the expectation, but Demar Phillips could end up playing — but that's a big unknown right now.

The midfield's a little more clear: Kyle Beckerman will be back from suspension — and he has this last match until he departs for the Gold Cup. (That's the case for Nick Rimando, too.) Javier Morales might be absent (it's a good bet) with a red card suspension. That's not too difficult to accommodate, as we have other midfielders, but it's certainly still a drop-off.

The front-line almost picks itself, with Joao Plata, Devon Sandoval, and Sebastian Jaime all ostensibly available, but the tricky little fact that they'll have only two days of rest between games might prompt more changes. Luckily, RSL has Jordan Allen available again, and that could be the differentiating factor in decision-making.

It's a difficult run of games we've been handed by MLS — not because of the opponents, but because we have a tight schedule with international duty potentially getting in the way.

Predicted lineup

Rimando; Beltran, Maund, Glad, Mansally; Beckerman, Mulholland, Gil; Allen, Sandoval, Plata