Real Salt Lake head to Colorado for 2019’s first Rocky Mountain Cup match, here’s what you need to know:
1. Real dropped points at home against Portland last week, losing 2-1 to the now 9th place Timbers. Portland struck first in the 34th minute after Albert Rusnak’s saved penalty kick in the 26th. RSL equalized through Sam Johnson in the 62nd minute but Portland retook the lead just six minutes later through Diego Valeri.
Johnson’s goal was his third of the season but it’s Rusnak who leads the team with four goals and one assist. Damir Kreilach remains at two goals and Jefferson Savarino with one goal and one assist.
2. The loss against Portland dropped RSL down one spot in the standings to 8th place, with ten points in ten matches and a record of 3-6-1. Real Salt Lake went 2-0-1 against Colorado in 2018, including a 6-0 win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in August, claiming the Rocky Mountain Cup for a third consecutive year. All-time RSL is 19-13-11 against the Rapids and 6-10-5 at Colorado.
Tony Beltran (knee 3/15/19) and Kyle Beckerman (hamstring 5/2/19) have been ruled out for the match in Colorado while Erik Holt (ankle 3/30/19), Everton Luiz (knee 4/13/19), and Nick Rimando (knee 4/15/19) are questionable.
3. Colorado Rapids have yet to win a match this season with a record of 0-8-2. Colorado averages 1.4 goals for and 2.7 goals against per match and, despite having the worst record in the league, forward Kei Kamara sits 3rd in the league with seven goals. The Rapids are coming off a 2-3 home loss to 11th place Vancouver Whitecaps. Kamara scored two goals and forward Diego Rubio received a red card in the match.
The Rapids have undergone many changes in the last week including parting ways with head coach Anthony Hudson who had a record of 8-26-9 since joining the club ahead of the 2018 season. Former Rapids player Conor Casey, who had three goals in seven matches against RSL, is now interim head coach, Saturday will be his second match in charge. Colorado recently acquired forward Jonathon Lewis from NYCFC in exchange for $650,000 in Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) in 2020 and a 2020 international roster spot. The Rapids also picked up defender Lalas Abubakar on a one-year loan from Columbus Crew in exchange for $125,000 in 2019 TAM. Additionally, the Rapids announced the trade of Benny Feilhaber to Sporting Kansas City for defender Abdul Rwatubyaye, a 2019 international roster spot, $50,000 in 2019 TAM, and a second round pick in the 2020 SuperDraft. Feilhaber played in nine matches and started seven in his short stint with Colorado, he also had two goals and two assists.