ExLink - 08/25/18 - COLvRSL

Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 26

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park — Commerce City
August 25 - 9 pm ET


The Rocky Mountain Cup is up for grabs when the Colorado Rapids host Real Salt Lake Saturday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. RSL are in the drivers seat to claim a third straight cup as part of Heineken Rivalry Week.

The Rapids come into the game following a 2-0 loss at LAFC on Sunday, while Real Salt Lake rallied to defeat the Houston Dynamo, 2-1, at BBVA Compass Stadium.

This is the third meeting between the Western Conference rivals this season with the Real Salt Lake winning, 3-0, at Rio Tinto Stadium on April 21 followed by a 2-2 draw three months later in Sandy.

Colorado Rapids

After back-to-back wins, Colorado (6-13-6) is now winless in its last two games following a 2-0 loss to LAFC Sunday at Banc of California Stadium.

Lee Nguyen opened the scoring four minutes into the second half and Diego Rossi added an 80th-minute insurance goal to lift LAFC.

“This is such an important game for us, we know how important it is for our fans, to the club, we know what that means to everyone. We’re clear on that,” coach Anthony Hudson said. “We also want to put Sunday behind us and I can assure you we absolutely cannot wait for this game.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: F - Jack McBean, D - Kortne Ford
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Axel Sjoberg (knee injury); QUESTIONABLE: M - Sam Nicholson (undisclosed injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-1-2, right to left)
GK: Tim Howard — Kortne Ford, Danny Wilson, Tommy Smith, Edgar Castillo — Kellyn Acosta, Jack Price, Johan Blomberg — Dillon Serna — Jack McBean, Sam Nicholson

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake (11-10-5) needed a late miracle, but it won on the road for just the second time this season, defeating the Dynamo, 2-1, Saturday night in Houston.

After Oscar Boniek Garcia opened the scoring for the hosts in the 36th minute, Albert Rusnak leveled three minutes into stoppage time and then scored the winner from the penalty spot seven minutes later after DaMarcus Beasley fouled Sebastian Saucedo in the box.

“I’m over the moon right now,” coach Mike Petke said. “It wasn’t an easy game. From the beginning, we took control. The game plan tonight was very specific like it always is. Tonight, it clicked as far as specifics that we wanted from our players, how we wanted to defend, where we wanted them to play the ball and capitalized in transition. I’m ecstatic for them to be honest with you.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Marcelo Silva
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), M - Jordan Allen (knee surgery), GK - Alex Horwath (Achilles surgery), M - Luke Mulholland (back injury), D - David Horst (Achilles surgery), F - Ricky Lopez-Espin (knee surgery), GK - Connor Sparrow (knee injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Marcelo Silva (ankle injury), GK - Nick Rimando (hamstring injury), M - Pablo Ruiz (knee injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Andrew Putna — Brooks Lennon, Nick Besler, Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera — Sunny, Damir Kreilach — Jefferson Savarino, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata — Luis Silva

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Colorado Rapids 13 wins, 40 goals … Real Salt Lake 18 wins, 54 goals … 11 draws
  • At Colorado: Rapids 10 wins, 25 goals … Real Salt Lake 5 wins, 18 goals … 5 draws
  • Last meeting at Colorado: Colorado Rapids 1, Real Salt Lake 0 (Oct. 15, 2017)


Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Matthew Nelson
4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Armando Villarreal