Rapids, Real Salt Lake tie in friendly
LA PORTE, Texas - The Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake
tied 2-2 today in an exhibition match played at La
Porte High School Stadium, in La Porte, Texas. The two
sides, which will be battling for the inaugural Rocky
Mountain Cup in 2005, have 14 days before the 10th
Major League Soccer season kicks off.
The first goal of the night came in the 3rd minute,
when Colorado Rapids defender Eric Denton bent a
freekick over the defensive wall and into the back of
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper DJ Countess' net. The
30-yard shot cleared the four-man wall and found its
way into the goal through the upper left corner,
despite Countess' full body dive.
It was Jean Philippe Peguero who had the second
scoring opportunity of the game in the 7th minute,
when a through ball from Alain Nkong left him on a
one-on-one run against Countess who came off his line
and made the diving save on the Haitian's shot.
Peguero had to leave the game a couple of minutes
later after rolling his ankle during another scoring
opportunity in the 16th minute.
Only one minute later, a quick combination between
midfielders Kyle Beckerman and Chris Henderson sent
a through ball into the open space for Colorado.
Henderson followed the give-and-go bringing the ball
all the way to the end line before sending an out
swinging cross into the heart of Real's penalty area.
Forward Jeff Cunningham, who had followed the play
since the beginning, buried the cross into Salt Lake's
goal with a spectacular first time shot.
Goalkeeper Byron Foss came up big for the Rapids on
three occasions. The first one in the 26th minute when
he made a diving save on Jamaican International, Andy
Williams. The 6-5 goalkeeper was quick to go down and
deflect a powerful low shot from Williams from
Foss was called upon again in the 36th minute, when he
handled the second scoring opportunity for Real Salt
Lake. Forward Jason Kreis took a 35-yard freekick that
bounced right in front of the Rapids goal. Foss timed
the shot perfectly, and despite the wet grass
conditions was able to push the quick bouncing ball
out of danger.
Four minutes later it was another spectacular save
from Foss that kept the Rapids in the lead. Real's
forward Dipsy Selolwane took advantage of a misstep by
defender Amir Lowery who fell to the ground leaving
the Botswana native running with the ball into the
Rapids penalty area. Selolwane's powerful shot was
saved by Foss, whose left hand deflected the ball to
the left post before rebounding back into the keeper's
Jason Kreis scored the first goal for Real in the 54th
minute, when he found a loose ball at the top of the
Rapids penalty area and surprised Foss with an
accurate shot. Selolwane had close range shot that was
initially blocked by Denton, but the rebound landed in
Kreis' path. The MLS All Time Leading Goalscorer
finished the play with a powerful left shot to the
lower right corner of Foss' goal.
Substitute forward Wolde Harris had a golden
opportunity to score the third goal for the Rapids in
the 63rd minute, when a through ball from Dan Gargan
left the Jamaican forward running towards Real's goal.
Harris beat his defender to the ball, but his powerful
shot was stopped by Countess, who had come out of his
line to close the shooting angle.
Kreis evened the scoring in the 70th minute, when he
headed a cross from Williams past Foss. The accurate
cross from the Jamaican midfielder found Kreis running
towards the penalty spot. The former FC Dallas striker
placed his powerful header to the lower left corner of
the Rapids goal.
Five Rapids players missed today's exhibition game due
to U.S. National Team duty. Defenders Nat Borchers and
Ritchie Kotschau, midfielder Pablo Mastroeni, and
goalkeeper Joe Cannon are all with the U.S. Men's
National Team, while defender Hunter Freeman is with
the U.S. Under-20 team in Korea.
The Rapids will remain in the Lone Star State for the
next seven days and will take on FC Dallas in the
club's last preseason game on Saturday, March 26th in
Rapids Lineups- Foss, Denton, Lowery, Cullen, Gargan,
Henderson(Morales 46'), Beckerman, Nkong,
Cooke(Guillaume 72'), Peguero(Gonzalez 16'),
COL- Denton(Unassisted 3'); Cunningham(Henderson,
RSL- Kreis(Unassisted 54'); Kreis(Williams 70')