The New England Revolution were already working with a skeleton crew in the back line after the injury report listed A.J. Soares, Kevin Alston, and Andrew Farrell as out and unavailable for Thursday night's match against the Portland Timbers. Then, in the early afternoon hours on Wednesday things, got even worse. MLS announced that the disciplinary committee had assessed an undisclosed fine and would be suspending Chris Tierney for the upcoming match.
The suspension itself isn't terrifically unjust, despite Tierney's own thoughts on the subject (follow-up tweet available here). As you can see from the video embedded below, while it wasn't the most horrific of challenges, he absolutely came in way late and caught all of the player. How Baldomero Toledo and his assistants missed that in the first place defies logic.
Oh wait, no it doesn't! That's the same hack officiating crew that missed this foul on Andrew Farrell (credit Kari Heistad with the twitpic), which left him with a knee contusion so bad he can't play this week! This, after Michael Farfan had been headhunting the kid all game. To say that this decisions raises eyebrows would be an understatement; this decision, coupled with the lack of action against Farfan, is laughable.
With Tierney out, the Revs were reduced to just three healthy, available defenders. Since the announcement was a mere 32 hours before kickoff, it was initially assumed that the team wouldn't even get a chance to call up Bilal Duckett or Tyler Polak from Rochester to fill the void. Luckily, the team heard about this a little before everyone else, and Duckett has already been called in. He joined his teammates in Portland and will return to Rochester after Thursday's match.
Given all that, it looks as though the back line will appear something like this on Thursday: Duckett, Macca, Goncalves, Barnes. Duckett and Barnes could line up at either fullback position, since they have experience at both. There's also the unfavorable option of playing either Ryan Guy or (wait for it) Sainey Nyassi at right-back, but that should probably be a last resort consideration.
It should be noted that the clock may not have run out on a Farfan suspension or fine. Philadelphia doesn't play until Saturday, and the MLSDC may have felt the need to get the Tierney suspension out there as soon as possible with the Thursday game coming. Then again, they could have just suspended Tierney for Wednesday's RSL clash, so who knows what's going on up there.