Real Salt Lake will host Colorado Rapids for the second time this season and can clinch the Rocky Mountain Cup with a win. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. Real Salt Lake fell once again on the road last Saturday in Minnesota. After holding MNUFC goalless in the first half, RSL gave up three before Joao Plata was able to get two back. Following the match, RSL head coach Mike Petke went on another epic rant about officiating and transparency, landing him a two-match suspension and hefty fine.
2. With the loss, RSL dropped to 5th place in the western conference with a record of 9-9-2 and 29 points. Real are now 1-8-1 on the road, the exact opposite of their home record of 8-1-1. Plata’s two goals brought him even with Corey Baird at 5 goals and 2 assists each, but it’s Albert Rusnak who still leads the team with 5 goals and 5 assists. Luis Silva also has 5 goals, Damir Kreilach has 3 goals and 6 assists, Jefferson Savarino has 3 goals and 3 assists, and Sebastian Saucedo has 2 goals and 3 assists.
3. No progress has been made on the injury list since last weekend:
OUT: Tony Beltran (knee 10/15/17), Jordan Allen (knee 6/16/17), Shawn Barry (knee 3/10/18), Demar Phillips (ankle 4/7/18), Alex Horwath (achilles 4/18/18), Luke Mulholland (back 5/2/18), David Horst (achilles 6/26/18), Ricky Lopez-Espin (knee 6/13/18), and Connor Sparrow (knee 7/2/18).
4. Saturday’s match will be the second of the season between RSL and Colorado. Real Salt Lake took all three points at Rio Tinto Stadium on April 21 thanks to goals from Plata, Kreilach, and Rusnak. Real have dropped points at home just two times this season and haven’t lost at the RioT since March 10th. Real has a record of 18-13-10 all-time against the Rapids and has been dominant in Utah at 13-3-5. RSL has taken the Rocky Mountain Cup eight times in ten seasons. In the last four meetings with the Rapids, there have been four red cards given and the Claret & Cobalt have gone 3-1-0. Despite the recent chippiness of this rivalry, Mike Petke believes his team will stay disciplined:
5. The Colorado Rapids snapped their two-match losing streak last Saturday when they drew with the Houston Dynamo. With a record of 4-11-4 and 16 points, the Rapids sit in 11th place in the western conference. Colorado’s most recent signing, Giles Barnes, arrived at the club last Friday and started against the Dynamo but his debut was cut short when he injured his ankle and was subbed in the 52nd minute. Giles in the only player listed on Colorado’s injury report and will sit for their visit to Utah. Dominique Badji leads the Rapids with 7 goals and 2 assists, Joe Mason has 3 goals, Tommy Smith has 2 goals and 3 assists, and Edgar Castillo has 2 goals and 2 assists. Colorado is 1-6-1 on the road this season.
Our coverage of Real Salt Lake vs Colorado Rapids begins on Saturday, July 21 at 7 P.M. with Tom Hackett and Spencer Warne, kick-off is at 8 P.M. with Bill Riley and Jay Nolly.