Another week, another slew of postgame interviews from ABC 4’s Real Sports Live.
RSL commentators Bill Riley and Brian Dunseth sat down with three RSL players after Saturday’s 2-1 win over Colorado, chatting up goal scorer Javier Morales, goalkeeper Jeff Attinella and midfielder Cole Grossman for interviews that aired on Sunday night’s show.
Check out Bill and Dunny’s sit downs with the RSL trio below.
Bill with Attinella and Dunny with Morales:
Bill with Grossman:
Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids will kick off the 2014 Rocky Mountain Cup on Saturday, with the Claret-and-Cobalt hosting the rival Rapids at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Here are a few storylines to watch ahead of the match:
How will RSL fare in first match without Beckerman, Rimando and Saborio?
We all knew it was coming, but that doesn’t mean that the absences of RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman, goalkeeper Nick Rimando and forward Alvaro Saborio due to World Cup duty will be any easier for the Claret-and-Cobalt to deal with this weekend. Saturday’s match will be RSL’s first without the trio, which departed on Wednesday for pre-World Cup camps with their national teams. Expect Jeff Attinella to fill-in for Rimando, Cole Grossman to step-in for Beckerman and either Devon Sandoval or Olmes Garcia to start for Saborio on Saturday.
Can RSL get off to a good start as it looks to reclaim the Rocky Mountain Cup?
Prior to 2013, the last time RSL lost a Rocky Mountain Cup, Rio Tinto Stadium hadn’t opened, a band called Hinder was near the top of the charts and Kyle Beckerman and Chris Wingert were members of the Rapids. 2006: Heady days. Real Salt Lake ripped off a run of six-straight Rocky Mountain Cups following that year, winning the trophy every year from 2007-2012. Colorado won the trophy back last year, with RSL posting a 0-1-2 record to cede the trophy to the east side of the Rockies. The Claret-and-Cobalt will want to keep the Cup’s stay in Colorado short, and can get off to a great start in the 2014 RMC with a win on Saturday.
Will home dominance continue in Rocky Mountain Cup?
The home team has historically dominated in Rocky Mountain Cup play, posting a 14-5-9 record over the visiting team in 28 RMC games. That dominance has been even more pronounced in recent years, with the home team not losing a game in the last 14 Rocky Mountain Cup matches, a streak that dates all the way back to RSL’s 1-0 win at Colorado on Oct. 20, 2007.
Battle of first-year head coaches
Saturday’s match will pit two first-year coaches against each other in RSL’s Jeff Cassar and Colorado’s Pablo Mastroeni. Cassar has gotten his career off to a sparkling start, posting an unbeaten 5-0-5 record through his first 10 games as Claret-and-Cobalt manager. That’s the second-longest unbeaten run to start a MLS coaching career in league history. Mastroeni’s start has been solid, if not as strong, with the former U.S. Men’s National Team stalwart guiding the Rapids to a 4-3-3 mark through its first 10 matches.
Find out how MLSsoccer.com's Matt Doyle and Dan Haiek see Saturday's Rocky Mountain Cup first leg unfolding. Give their Scouting Report preview a watch above.
Real Salt Lake lost its first Rocky Mountain Cup since 2006 last year, posting a 0-1-2 record against the rival Rapids to cede the trophy after holding it for six-consecutive seasons.
After going 0-1-1 against Colorado in the first two matches of last year’s competitions, RSL had a chance to keep the Rocky Mountain Cup with a win at the Rapids in the 2013 RMC finale on Aug. 3, 2013. Unfortunately, the Claret-and-Cobalt couldn’t quite pull it off, taking a 2-1 first half lead before allowing a 70th minute equalizer to draw 2-2 – and lose the RMC – in a lightning-delayed match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
RSL will start its campaign to bring the RMC back to the Wasatch Front on Saturday, when it will host Colorado at 7:30 p.m. MT. Check out the highlights from last year’s RMC finale above and make sure you bring it on Saturday. Let’s make sure we bring the Rocky Mountain Cup back to its true home here in Salt Lake.
Men In Blazers’ man Roger Bennett’s love affair with RSL Captain Kyle Beckerman just keeps on marching on.
We touched a bit on this last week, but wanted to highlight Bennett – who is co-directing ESPN’s six-part documentary series on the USMNT that will begin tonight – talking about Kyle last night on ESPN2 show “Olbermann.”
Video above (the Kyle bit starts around the 2:20 mark, but watch the whole thing, trust us) and quote below:
“Kyle, I love Kyle. I wrote a piece about a year ago called "All Hail Kyle Beckerman," Bennett said of Beckerman, who – along with RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando – was called into the U.S.’s 30-man preliminary World Cup squad yesterday. “To me he’s the perfect U.S. footballer. He’s very technical, very tactical and deeply underappreciated. He makes everybody around him play better, and he cares about everybody else on the field. His whole goal is to make the attackers attack better, the defenders defend better and it’s that sense of sacrifice and love and joy from the game that you get from Kyle.”
“But spending time with that bloke, you only get to love him even more…. Here’s the joy of Kyle, I’d say he’s one of the emotional heartbeats of this team, he’s in his 30’s, he’s never made a U.S. [World Cup] squad, he’s been a seven-time MLS All-Star, he dropped off the squad really under Bob Bradley and Klinsmann’s pulled him back. Since he was eight he’s always signed his name “Kyle Beckerman: No. 15 USA,” even in notes to his mother. It’d be, “Mum, I’ve gone to the supermarket, I’ll be back in 20 minutes, Kyle Beckerman USA No. 15.” And he’s on the brink of making that childhood dream come true.”
Mansally to Beckerman; Beckerman to Sandoval; Sandoval to Grossman; Grossman to Beltran; Beltran to Grossman; Grossman to Borchers; Borchers to Maund; Maund to Grabavoy; Grabavoy to Beckerman; Beckerman to Maund; Maund to Mansally; Mansally to Maund; Maund to Borchers; Borchers to Grossman; Grossman to Beltran; Beltran to Morales; Morales to Mulholland.
Mulholland to goal.
All 10 field players. 17 passes. One goal.
Watch the excellence above.
Will confidence override tired legs?
When Real Salt Lake takes on Houston Dynamo this Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium, the Claret-and-Cobalt might not be sure just what type of team they will be facing. Sunday’s match will be Houston’ s third game in eight days, but the Dynamo will be riding high after back-to-back wins. So will Houston’s confidence and winning streak overpower their potentially tired legs?
Houston routed Chivas USA 4-1 at StubHub Center on last Saturday with goals supplied by U.S. internationals Brad Davis and Will Bruin, and a brace from English forward Giles Barnes. The Dynamo then returned to Texas and shutout Columbus Crew in a 1-0 win on Wednesday, with Bruin producing the game-winner and Davis supplying the assist.
Things seem to be clicking for the Texas side that now sits second in the Eastern Conference with a 4-4-2 record and total of 14 points. Sunday will also be the last MLS match before U.S. Manager Jurgen Klinsmann announces his 30-man preliminary World Cup roster. Houston’s U.S. internationals Davis and Bruin will surely be looking to shine in order to make a late case for their inclusion.
Tired legs might be something RSL can exploit on Sunday, but one can never underestimate the power of a confident and in-form side – especially, at home.
Video: Beckerman and Rimando featured in first look at ESPN's "Inside: U.S. Soccer's March to Brazil"
As part of its coverage of this summer’s World Cup, ESPN will be airing a six-part documentary series called “Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil.” The series will take an all-access look at the USMNT as it prepares for Brazil, giving viewers a behind the scenes look with Jurgen Klinsmann and the full squad in the months and weeks leading up to the tournament.
Directed by Jonathan Hock – the man behind the well-done “MLS Insider” series – and Roger Bennett – ESPNFC writer, Men in Blazers podcaster and noted fan of Kyle Beckerman – the first episode of the series will air next Tuesday and will run for five consecutive weeks.
ESPN released a preview of the series yesterday, and we’ve taken the liberty of embedding it above. Beckerman and RSL teammate Nick Rimando are featured in the preview, and we promise that it’s well worth a watch. Check it out up top.