Real Salt Lake, Colorado Rapids tempers flare after latest Rocky Mountain Cup clash

Tempers flared after the Colorado Rapids' comprehensive 5-0 win over Real Salt Lake Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium, with the rivals jawing at each other following the final whistle.

Watch: Tempers flare up postgame

RSL's Everton Luiz appeared to chase and push Colorado's Braian Galvan, the 19-year-old Argentine who scored his first MLS goal early in the second half, and Colorado center back Lalas Abubakar confronted Real Salt Lake’s midfielder before being separated. 

Galvan’s apparent showboating near the corner flag late in the Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry match is what sparked RSL’s reaction, which included some words by Damir Kreilach as Galvan was being escorted through the tunnel.

“You don’t like to see people taunting. We’ve never taunted when we’ve gone and won multiple times in Colorado,” RSL coach Freddy Juarez said. “And we had a player who was taunting. If you’re involved in soccer, the player knows what that means. And that’s a young player, I get it. But you still don’t do that type of stuff. People who understand soccer knows what he was doing. And that’s something that shouldn’t happen. In the heat of the moment, players get upset with him.”

Rapids coach Robin Fraser said he understood Real Salt Lake’s frustrations stemmed from Galvan attempting “some stepovers in the corner,” late in a match that saw Colorado snap a five-match losing streak to take the Rocky Mountain Cup while handing RSL their most lopsided home loss in club history.

“When I spoke to him, he said there was no intent, it was just how he plays,” Fraser said about Galvan. “At the end of the day, we’re not about that. We’re about our performance and we’re about who we are as a group and doing everything with integrity. However it was interpreted, however it looked, it's certainly been discussed. At the end of the day, we’re very much about what we do and our performance and taking great pride in the things that we did well.”

Rapids forward Diego Rubio did a lot of things well on Saturday night, scoring his first two goals of the season and adding an assist in a Man of the Match performance. The Chilean called the win a “massive boost” to the Rapids' confidence, and isn’t so concerned about RSL’s post-match reaction.

“It’s part of the game. They say a lot of things, I remember before the first game, but we don’t care,” Rubio said. “We scored five goals on them. That’s the way we need to answer them, to respond to them. That’s the best response, scoring five goals on them in their stadium.”


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