Preview: RSL at Colorado Rapids

RSL must win Saturday to retain 7th-straight Rocky Mountain Cup

Ned Grabavoy v. Colorado Rapids - 03.16.13

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports Images

SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will look to rebound from a two-game losing skid on Saturday, when it will take on the rival Colorado Rapids in the 2013 Rocky Mountain Cup Presented by Mark Miller Subaru finale at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Real Salt Lake must win Saturday’s match in order to retain its seventh-straight Rocky Mountain Cup. A loss or a tie for the Claret-and-Cobalt would give the Rapids its first RMC since the 2006 season.

Saturday’s game will kick at 6:30 p.m. MT and will be broadcast live on ABC 4, ESPN700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D FM/1600 AM. ABC 4 will air its 30-minute Ford Postgame Show immediately following the match; ESPN 700 will begin its pregame coverage at 5:30 p.m. MT and will air an hour-long postgame show immediately following the final whistle. The RSL-Colorado match will be one of the matches featured in NBC Sports Network’s MLS Breakaway show on Saturday.

Despite its recent slide, Real Salt Lake enters Saturday’s match in first-place in the Supporters’ Shield and Western Conference races, one point ahead of Sporting Kansas City in the MLS standings and three points ahead of Colorado and the Portland Timbers in the Western Conference table. RSL will remain in first-place in the Western Conference regardless of how this weekend’s results play out, as it holds tiebreakers over both Colorado and Portland.

Real Salt Lake and Colorado have already met twice this season, with the Claret-and-Cobalt posting a 0-1-1 record against the rival Rapids. RSL got a late goal from FW Alvaro Saborio to tie the Rapids 1-1 in at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 16 before falling 1-0 to Colorado at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on April 6.

Saturday’s game will mark the return of Captain Kyle Beckerman and GK Nick Rimando to the RSL lineup. Beckerman, Rimando and RSL DF Tony Beltran – who will serve a one-game red card suspension on Saturday – all missed RSL’s last four games while with the U.S. Men’s National Team for its run to the CONCACAF Gold Cup crown. The trio will train with RSL on Friday for the first time since departing from the team on June 30; all three players returned to Salt Lake City late on Wednesday following the 2013 MLS AT&T All-Star Game.

Colorado enters Saturday’s match unbeaten in its last six league matches, winning four games in that span. The Rapids won its last match, beating the LA Galaxy 2-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park last Saturday.

Real Salt Lake has a quick turnaround following Saturday’s match, returning to action on Wednesday for a 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal against Portland at Rio Tinto Stadium. Ticket’s for Wednesday’s semifinal are on sale and can be purchased online, at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office or over the phone at 801-727-2700.

How to Follow Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids

  • Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. MT at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.
  • English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 5:30 p.m. MT)
  • Spanish Radio: La Gran D 102.3 FM & Juan 1600 AM
  • Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide live match updates

Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL-COL Match Now Available Online

Click here to download the PDF version of the MLS Game Guide for Saturday’s RSL-COL matchup

RSL History v. Colorado Rapids

RSL trails in its all-time series against Colorado, posting a 9-10-8 record against the Rapids. The Claret-and-Cobalt is 2-7-4 in games at Colorado, getting outscored 10-16 in MLS matches in the Centennial State.

Real Salt Lake’s last win at Colorado came way back on Oct. 20, 2007, when FW Robbie Findley scored a late game-winner to give RSL its first Rocky Mountain Cup and keep the Rapids out of the MLS Cup Playoffs.