Evan Whitfield

Rapids, RSL to have annual Cup contest

The Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake on Wednesday announced plans to hold an annual cup competition between the two sides. In the as yet unnamed mini-tournament, the winner of the four-match regular season series will be declared the victors in this burgeoning Rocky Mountain rivalry.

Fans have been given an opportunity to participate in the naming of the competition and the design of the trophy. By logging on to www.RealRapidsCup.com, supporters can vote on a selection of suggested monikers.

The competition is being organized in a joint effort between the clubs and The Committee of 10, or "C10", a group composed of members of the respective clubs' fans whose election revolves on a rotating basis. C10 aims to serve as a coordinated outlet for soccer enthusiasts in the Rocky Mountain region.

In addition to the presentation of a trophy to each year's winner, the cup will also include joint sponsorship, ticket sales programs and corporate economic initiatives between Colorado and Utah in hopes of spurring economic development between the cities and states.

Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids will meet four times in the 2005 regular season. Two matches will be played at each side's home stadium, April 16 and Oct. 15 in Salt Lake City and Aug. 26 and Oct. 1 in Denver. If the series is tied on points at the end of the year, a tiebreaker will be used to determine the winner of the competition.

Elected officials in Colorado have already thrown down the gauntlet at their future opponents, Governor Bill Owens and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper openly challenging their neighbors.

"Given that the Mile High City already overshadows Salt Lake City by 950 feet in altitude, I look forward to seeing that advantage translate into domination on the soccer field," said Hickenlooper.

Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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