After facing a Sporting Kansas City team missing two starters because of suspension, FC Dallas has its own absence to fill when it meets Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
Atiba Harris, who has often started at right back this season, was given his fifth yellow card in the 2-2 draw with SKC, triggering a one-match suspension for yellow-card accumulation.
It's an opportunity that might appear tailor-made for Trinidad and Tobago international Aubrey David, who joined FCD on loan in July from Costa Rican club Saprissa. But David wasn't on the training field Tuesday after having his wisdom teeth removed earlier in the day.
The fullback said he's feeling "much better than I expected" after the surgery and probably will start Saturday.
While David has played just two league games since joining FCD, he said he's not upset that coach Oscar Pareja hasn't given him more time.
"At this moment, maybe he doesn't see me in his plan, but the team has continued to do fabulous, so at this point I can't complain," he said. "I just have to wait and be patient until he calls me in, and when I get there, I'll try to do my best. But it doesn't really affect me at all because the team has been doing wonderful."
For Pareja, building depth has been a focus, and every player needs to be ready.
"I think the philosophy always has been, 'Let's get the next on the list,' and the players here have worked hard during the season," Pareja said. "We have a roster that has been built with the intention of having any player, any time on the field. The absence of one player just brings the opportunity to another one. At least, that's the way we look at it."
That philosophy has won over David, who said he loves working with Pareja.
David said the 48-year-old coach "makes you feel comfortable, he shows his confidence in you, he talks to you on a personal level, 'This is what I like. This is what I'd like to see.' He makes jokes. He just makes you feel so comfortable.
"It's not like a coach-player relationship, it's more like a bigger brother relationship. He has been fabulous. I'm very impressed with his coaching techniques, and I like him a lot."