The Columbus Crew received a double blow on Tuesday, learning that both Emilio Renteria and Bernardo Anor would not be available for selection for this weekend's game against DC United. Renteria was suspended by the league's disciplinary committee, while Anor suffered a more serious injury than initially thought against Kansas City.
DC United will be without a key player of their own this Saturday after goalkeeper Bill Hamid was ejected in Houston.
Renteria, the team's most-used forward (1,210 minutes played, 79% of the season), appeared to head-butt Kansas City's Paulo Nagamura in the second half of last Saturday's contest, but was only issued a yellow card at the time. The play was reviewed after the game, however, and Renteria was suspended and fine one game for his actions.
Renteria has started the last seven league games, last missing the team's game in San Jose on May 19th. The Venezuelan forward stormed back to action after that omission, scoring his only two goals of the season in the next two games.
While Renteria will return after a one-game suspension, Bernardo Anor has been lost for the season. Anor collided with Kei Kamara in the second half on Saturday, but was able to finish the game after receiving treatment for several minutes. He received an MRI after the game, however, which revealed the extent of his injury.
The loss of Anor will further compound the team's difficulties at left back. Second-year defender Rich Balchan has missed the entire season with a sports hernia, and the club recently parted ways with a trio of defenders - including one-time starter Shaun Francis - in order to comply with league roster rules. Montenegrin defender Nemanja Vukovic is once again the apparent starter, although Danny O'Rourke could conceivably step into the role.
Columbus is preparing for what amounts to a must-win game this Saturday against longtime foe DC United. The team has gained only a single point in five recent games (four against conference opponents), and has fallen six points out of the final playoff spot. Coach Robert Warzycha's team has played half of their league schedule, with 22 points earned from 17 games played.