Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Jeff Attinella; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert; Cole Grossman, Luke Mulholland (Sebastian Velasquez, 96’), Ned Grabavoy, Javier Morales (C) (John Stertzer, 92’); Devon Sandoval, Joao Plata (Luis Gil, 89’)
Substitutes not used: Lalo Fernandez; Abdoulie Mansally, Aaron Maund, Olmes Garcia
Colorado Rapids (4-4-2): Clint Irwin; Christopher Klute, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Marc Burch (Danny Mwanga, 89’); Dillon Serna, Nick LaBrocca, Nathan Sturgis (Kamani Hill, 50’), Deshorn Brown; Dillon Powers (Marlon Hairston, 73’), Edson Buddle
Substitutes not used: John Berner; Shane O’Neill, Thomas Piermayr, Jared Watts
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (6-0-5, 23 points, West #2) stayed unbeaten in 2014 on Saturday night, extending its winning streak to three and starting the 2014 Rocky Mountain Cup on the right foot with a 1-0 win over Colorado Rapids (4-4-3, 15 points, West #5) at a sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium.
FW Joao Plata and MF Javier Morales scored in the 23rd and 51st minutes for the Claret-and-Cobalt. Colorado Captain Drew Moor pulled one back for the Rapids in the 83rd to create a nervy final few minutes, but RSL was able to hold firm, extending its regular season unbeaten streak to 11 games this year and to 15 games dating back to September 2013.
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jeff Cassar
On how the match ended:
“It seems like we talk about this all the time, but you know we have to give some credit to our opponents. They throw numbers forward, they start to cause havoc. But I thought our guys did a great job of bending, but not breaking. That’s what’s going to happen. You’ve got a two goal lead and they start dumping numbers forward and putting balls into the box. I thought they really gained most of their momentum from set plays which is something that you can’t control too much about how they get their set plays. But you can control how you defend them and that’s an area that we’re always stressing and trying to improve on.”
On the importance of MF Javier Morales on the field:
“He’s extremely important for us. He’s our attacking midfielder, he’s the one we try to find with the ball early, turn, and create, and I thought he did a fantastic job of finding gaps between their two defensive midfielders. Our players did a good job of finding him in those areas.”