Week 6 of the 2011 Major League Soccer season should have been remembered for Benny Feilhaber's debut in the league and the New York Red Bulls' and Los Angeles Galaxy's stars coming through.
Instead, it will go down as the week that Steve Zakuani and David Ferreira both suffered long-term injuries.
The Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas both figured to contend in the Western Conference this season, but replacing their star midfielders won't be a simple undertaking.
Will either team still make the postseason? Let's take a look at their personnel options in the aftermath of the two injuries:
Midfield depth is something that Seattle has, although it won't be able to replace the pace and creativity that Zakuani brought to the table. Between Alvaro Fernandez, Erik Friberg, Mauro Rosales, Brad Evans and Osvaldo Alonso, Sigi Schmid can still put out a formidable midfield, though it will be lacking Zakuani's game-breaking abilities.
As for FC Dallas, the defending MLS Cup runners up, the hole in central midfield is pretty sizable now. Barring a change in tactics, Eric Avila is one that could be leaned on to do a lot of the heavy lifting in Ferreira's absence. While he has shown that he's capable of scoring as a reserve, as evidenced by his game-winning goal against Real Salt Lake in the postseason last year and his game-winner against Vancouver on Saturday, he's yet to claim a starring role in his brief MLS career.
Do you think either Seattle or Dallas can still sustain postseason success despite their respective injured stars? Cast your vote here:
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