COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012) – Real Salt Lake (13-8-3, 42 points, West #2) missed an opportunity to vault into first-place in MLS on Saturday, falling 1-0 at the Colorado Rapids (8-14-1, 25 points, West #7) in the 2012 Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup finale. MF Joseph Nane scored for the Rapids, which beat RSL for the first time since May 2009 – a span of eight games.
The Rapids had the better of the early play and nearly took the lead in the 12th minute. MF Joseph Nane collected a loose ball at the top of the box, ripping a first-time shot past RSL GK Nick Rimando and off the crossbar.
Real Salt Lake hit back with a good look of its own in the 15th minute. RSL debutant – and Salt Lake City native – FW Justin Braun ran onto a cross from MF Jonny Steele at the left post, forcing Colorado GK Matt Pickens into a fine save with a strong header. Several RSL players had good looks during the ensuing goalmouth scramble, but none could find the back of the net.
The game settled down after Braun’s chance, with both teams battling for midfield control and struggling to create chances.
Things headed up again in the 38th minute, when the Rapids took a 1-0 lead through Nane. DF Drew Moor started the play, crossing to the left post, where MF Jaime Castrillon hit a strong header toward goal. The ball took a hard ricochet off of RSL DF Kwame Watson-Siriboe, bouncing out to Nane who took a touch and buried a 12-yard shot into the roof of the net.
Nane’s goal took the teams into halftime, which saw RSL bring on FW Fabian Espíndola for FW Álvaro Saborío. Colorado made a substitution of its own early in the second half, subbing on MF Wells Thompson for injured DF Tyrone Marshall and moving Brian Mullan from midfield into defense.
Colorado had the first chance of the second frame, getting yet another good look in the 54th minute. FW Omar Cummings created the opportunity, combining well with Thompson before playing DF Luis Zapata through in the left side of the box. Zapata couldn’t take advantage though, sending a weak 15-yard shot wide of the far post.
Unsatisfied with his team’s performance, RSL head coach Jason Kreis used both his second and third subs in the 63rd minute, bringing MF Will Johnson and FW Emiliano Bonfigli on for Steele and Braun, respectively.
But the changes didn’t do much for RSL, which continued ceding chances. Castrillon very nearly made it 2-0 in the 68th minute, latching onto a ball at the top left corner of the six-yard-box before toe-poking his shot off of the near post.
The Rapids continued searching for a second goal and nearly found it on two separate occasions in the 75th. The first chance fell to Cummings, who collected a loose cross just inside the penalty spot before firing off of a RSL defender and out for a corner. The second chance fell to Castrillon, whose close-range shot off of MF Jeff Larentowicz’s padded header forced Rimando into a solid save.
RSL – which was playing its third game in eight days on Saturday night – couldn’t muster any significant chances for the rest of the game. The Claret-and-Cobalt will look to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat on Aug. 11, when they’ll travel to Vancouver to take on Whitecaps FC.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 0-COL 1
- By losing on Saturday night, Real Salt Lake missed an opportunity to move past the idle San Jose Earthquakes and into first-place in both the Western Conference and MLS. RSL would have had a one point lead at the top of the table had they beaten the Rapids on Saturday.
- Saturday’s loss broke RSL’s eight-game unbeaten run against Colorado – a streak that ran back to May 2009. That streak is RSL’s longest ever unbeaten run against any one team.
- Real Salt Lake FW Justin Braun made his RSL debut on Saturday night, starting the match up top and playing 63 minutes before being taken off. The Salt Lake City native was acquired in a trade with Montreal on July 11. He’d made the bench in every match since joining RSL, but hadn’t played in a game until Saturday.
- Though the club lost on Saturday, RSL still retains the Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup. The Claret-and-Cobalt clinched the team’s sixth-straight Cup on July 21, when they beat the Rapids 2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- RSL returns to action next Saturday, when they’ll take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC at BC Place. Real Salt Lake beat Vancouver 2-1 on July 27 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
- Saturday’s result broke Colorado’s franchise-record six-game losing streak – a run that dated back to June 30.
REAL SALT LAKE 0 - COLORADO RAPIDS 1
SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 2012
DICK’S SPORTING GOODS PARK
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 0 0 0
Colorado Rapids 1 0 1
Scoring Summary: COL – Joseph Nane – 38’
Misconduct Summary: No cards given
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (C); Ned Grabavoy, Jonny Steele (Will Johnson, 63’); Javier Morales; Justin Braun (Emiliano Bonfigli, 63’), Alvaro Saborio (Fabian Espindola, 46’)
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Kenny Mansally, Luis Gil, Yordany Alvarez
Colorado Rapids (4-4-2) – Matt Pickens; Drew Moor (C), Tyrone Marshall (Wells Thompson, 49’), Marvell Wynne, Luis Zapata; Brian Mullan, Jeff Larentowicz, Joseph Nane (Jamie Smith, 72’), Martin Rivero (Kamani Hill, 81’), Jaime Castrillon; Omar Cummings
Substitutes Not Used: Steward Ceus (GK), Tyson Wahl, Tony Cascio, Kamani Hill, Andre Akpan
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee's Assistants: Bill Dittmar, Matthew Nelson
4th Official: Jorge Luna Hernandez
Time of Game: 1:50