The Rocky Mountain Cup is back where it belongs, again. The first 19 minutes was predominantly owned by the Rapids, however, in the 20th minute Tim Howard came flying out of his box to try and prevent a Jefferson Savarino counter-attack and in the process handballed the football, a red card followed to the Rapids captain. That red card changed everything. Real Salt Lake ended with 70% possession, 29 total shots and 88% passing accuracy.
Here are my takes:
Persistence is everything
At half time it felt as though it could be one of those games where RSL dominate but struggle to find the back of the net. Fortunately, that was not the case. It took some time, but when Joao Plata found the back of the net from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute the flood gates opened. 7 minutes later Damir Kreilach opened his RSL and MLS account with a fantastic curving goal from just inside the left hand side of the box. The final goal came from a set piece where Albert Rusnak stunned Zach Macbath from 30 yards out to put it in the top right hand corner.
Rocky Mountain destruction ⛰️ pic.twitter.com/zU4m7vIPBC
— Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) April 22, 2018
A lot more Pablo Ruiz, please
Pablo Ruiz entered the game after half time, replacing Danny Acosta at left back. Ruiz found himself with the football a ton during the second half, it felt as though the team made a point to give Ruiz the football in the hopes of starting the attack. He was fantastic, whipping balls in, flicking them across the pitch with precision and finding the open man just above the box. Ruiz played so well that I can just about guarantee you he will be in the starting XI Friday night against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Ruiz was my man of the match and it was not even close. Love, love, love everything he did and am very excited for his future with RSL.
Who’s up next:
Real Salt Lake will prepare for two upcoming away games with the first coming this Friday night at 8:30 pm in Vancouver against the Whitecaps. This will be the 2nd matchup between the two teams within the last month with RSL beating the Whitecaps on April 7th at Rio Tinto Stadium 2-1. Since then Vancouver has not scored and lost by a combined 8-0 in their two games. Real Salt Lake however, is yet to win on the road, this will be their 4th attempt at doing just that.
Follow me on twitter for more RSL updates @TomCantHackett