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Colorado Looms For RSL

 Posted by on April 7, 2012 at 7:39 pm  MLS, Real Salt Lake
Apr 072012

Real Salt Lake knows how tough the Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry can be and what the past results mean as far as today’s contest is concerned. Last-game results in the Rocky Mountain Cup put Real Salt Lake into the playoffs at the expense of Colorado in 2008 and 2009. A loss to RSL also prevented the Rapids from making the playoffs in 2007. In all, RSL hasn’t lost to Colorado in six games, with two wins and four draws. Salt Lake has won this season but has also not been as sharp as it could be.

Real goalie Nick Rimando knows that the team’s win was huge and that is all that matters.

“That’s what matters in the end – you get three points,” said goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who had to make just one save. “Sometimes (the games) are ugly and that was definitely the case (Wednesday). Everybody can put their hand up and say they could be better. But what’s more important is we got three points.”

Just four days after rallying late for a 3-2 win at Portland, RSL (4-1-0) moved into first place in the West with Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over win-less Montreal. Paulo Jr. scored on a 13th-minute penalty for RSL, which still struggled to put the Impact away. This is Colorado’s first match against Western Conference opposition. Fresh off a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire, the Rapids have nine points from four games, tied for second in the West. First in the West, of course, is Real, with one extra game played. A midweek win over the Montreal Impact moved the team up to 12 points. RSL has compiled a 43-7-20 record on its own field since the start of 2008 and has outscored the Rapids 9-2 in going 4-0-2 in its last six home games in the series.

Coach Jason Kreis knows his club can’t afford to come out with a similar display against the Colorado Rapids.

“I expect and demand a better effort from all the guys, and I’m quite certain I will get it,” Kreis said. “It should be a great game because Colorado is a very good team this year. They are looking quite different than they have over the past several seasons, and maybe it will be a beautiful soccer game.”

Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Rimando; Beltran, Borchers, Olave, Wingert; Steele, Beckerman, Gil, Johnson; Saborio, Espindola.
DOUBTFUL: FW Cody Arnoux (L adductor strain), MF Enzo Martinez (lower back spasms), MF Nico Muñiz (R MCL sprain)

Colorado Rapids (4-3-3): Pickens; Kimura, Wynne, Moor, Zapata; Larentowicz, Castrillon, Rivero; Mullan, Cummings, Cascio.OUT: MF Jamie Smith (R ACL tear); DF Anthony Wallace (L Achilles tear); MF Pablo Mastroeni (headaches)
DOUBTFUL: FW Conor Casey (L Achilles tear)

GFT Editor

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