COMMERCE CITY, CO – Real Salt Lake (9-4-9, 36 points, West #2), reclaimed the Rocky Mountain Cup on Saturday night, defeating Colorado Rapids (8-8-6, 30 points, West #5) 1-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Real Salt Lake took the lead early through MF Javier Morales in the 14th minute, for his sixth goal of the year. The Claret-and-Cobalt was dealt a blow at the start of the second half with DF Aaron Maund receiving a straight red card in the 46th minute to reduce RSL to 10 men. The visiting side was able to weather the storm though and record its first win in Colorado since 2007. The victory was also a historic one for RSL GK Nick Rimando, who tied the MLS all-time shutout record with his 112th clean sheet.
Real Salt Lake registered the first chance of the match in the 10th minute. RSL FW Devon Sandoval was able to force a turnover in the attacking half and played the ball to RSL MF Luis Gil. The young U.S. international found RSL FW Robbie Findley at the top of the area, who took a touch to get around his defender, setting himself up for a half-volley attempt to the near post. But Colorado GK Clint Irwin came up big with a diving, one-handed save to keep the game scoreless.
Real Salt Lake went on to take the lead through Morales four minutes later. The play started with a fantastic slide tackle by RSL DF Chris Wingert to win the ball away from Rapids DF Marvell Wynne in the final third. The left back quickly played the ball into the middle of the box for Morales who finished a fantastic right footed shot to the near post from 12 yards out.
Colorado had a golden opportunity to equalize in the 28th minute. The play started with a Rapids corner that Wingert headed away to the far top of the area. Colorado was there to play the ball back into the six yard box that Rapids FW Deshorn Brown chested down right in front of goal. But the Jamaican was unable to keep his shot on frame, sending it high over the crossbar.
The Rapids started to settle into the match, gaining more possession and creating a few half chances, but neither side was able to create much in front of goal as the first half came to a close with the 1-0 score line unchanged.
The second half did not start well for the Claret-and-Cobalt with RSL’s Maund receiving a straight red card one minute into the start of the second 45. Colorado MF Dillon Serna was able to win the ball from Maund in the attacking third playing the ball to MF Vincente Sanchez on the breakaway. Maund managed to recover but in his effort clipped the feet of Sanchez just outside the 18 yard box, taking the down the Uruguayan who was in a one-on-one situation with Rimando. Maund was shown the straight red for denying the goal scoring opportunity, reducing the Claret-and-Cobalt to 10 men for the rest of the match. RSL was forced into a defensive substitution with RSL DF Carlos Salcedo entering the match for Sandoval.
Colorado went on to exploit its man advantage, pushing RSL into a defensive shell and creating a number of chances in front of goal. Rimando kept RSL’s lead alive with a fantastic stop in the 72nd minute. Colorado’s Brown received a dangerous ball inside the area and blasted a shot to the near corner but Rimando was there with a diving save to get a hand to the ball. Brown was there for the follow up shot but Salcedo did well to get his body in front of the attempt and deflect out of harm’s way.
Rimando earned his historic clean sheet with an incredible stop in the 94th minute. Colorado’s Brown tried his luck from distance firing a shot from 20 yards out that forced a diving save from Rimando. The veteran ‘keeper couldn’t hold onto the shot however but got to his feet quickly to corral the ball before a Rapids player could get the follow up chance.
Real Salt Lake will return to MLS action next Saturday, when it hosts D.C. United in a 2013 U.S. Open Cup Final rematch at 8:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium. Saturday’s match will be broadcast on ABC 4, ESPN 700 and 102.3 La Gran D FM.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 1–0 COL
- Real Salt Lake recaptured the Rocky Mountain Cup with its 1-0 win over Colorado tonight. RSL had previously defeated the Rapids in their first meeting of the year, a 2-1 win on May 17 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real Salt Lake has now won the Rocky Mountain cup seven times in the past eight years. RSL lost the RMC in 2013 for the first time since 2006.
- RSL GK Nick Rimando made history tonight, tying the MLS all-time shutout record with 112 career clean sheets. The 35-year-old is now tied with retired goalkeeper Kevin Hartman for the top record.
- The Claret-and-Cobalt is now 2-0-0 against the Rapids this year, improving its all-time regular season record to 11-10-9. The victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park marked RSL’s first win in Colorado since 2007.
- RSL MF Javier Morales scored the game-winner in the 14th minute for his sixth goal of 2014. The goal is the Argentine’s second against Colorado this year, also scoring the game-winner in the first 2014 meeting between the two clubs on May 17 – a 2-1 win at Rio Tinto Stadium. RSL DF Chris Wingert earned the assist, his second-straight helper and third of the year.
- With RSL entering tonight’s match off a midweek game against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, RSL boss Jeff Cassar made four lineup changes. RSL FW Robbie Findley, FW Devon Sandoval, MF Luis Gil and DF Aaron Maund all earned the start.
- RSL DF Aaron Maund earned his fifth start of 2014 tonight, in place of regular starter DF Chris Schuler. The replacement center back received a straight red card in the 46th minute after denying a goal scoring opportunity on Colorado’s Sanchez. The red card marked the ninth time in the last 10 matches that a red card or PK was shown in an RSL match.
- Tonight marked the first time that FW Devon Sandoval (seventh start of 2014) and FW Robbie Findley (third start of 2014) were paired up top together this year, marking the sixth different forward pairing in 2014.
- RSL DF’s Chris Wingert and Tony Beltran both received yellow cards in tonight’s game, resulting in one-game suspensions for yellow card accumulation. Both outside backs will miss next week’s home match v. D.C. United.
- Tonight marked the sixth consecutive match with Real Salt Lake Captain Kyle Beckerman and veteran GK Nick Rimando in the starting lineup. Beckerman and Rimando returned to the club from Brazil on July 3 and went on to help lead the Claret-and-Cobalt to a 2-1 win over the New England Revolution the next day to snap the club’s five game winless streak in MLS action. The Claret-and-Cobalt is now 3-1-2 since the return of the international duo. RSL went 1-3-2 in their absence in addition to being knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup after falling 2-1 at lower-division Atlanta Silverbacks in its opening match of the tournament.
REAL SALT LAKE 1–0 COLORADO RAPIDS
SATURDAY, AUGUST 2, 2014
DICK’S SPORTING GOODS PARK
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
Colorado Rapids 0 0 0
RSL – Javier Morales (Chris Wingert) – 14’
RSL – Chris Wingert (Yellow; Time Wasting) – 34’
RSL – Aaron Maund (Red; Serious Foul) – 46’
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (Yellow; Foul) – 62’
RSL – Tony Beltran (Yellow; Time Wasting) – 84’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Aaron Maund, Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (C), Luis Gil (John Stertzer, 85’), Ned Grabavoy, Javier Morales (Cole Grossman, 74’), Robbie Findley, Devon Sandoval (Carlos Salcedo, 50’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella; Luke Mulholland, Olmes Garcia, Joao Plata
Colorado Rapids (4-4-2): Clint Irwin; Marc Burch, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Chris Klute; Dillon Serna (Gabriel Torres, 73’), Jose Mari (Carlos Alvarez, 73’), Nick LaBrocca, Dillon Powers, Vincente Sanchez, Deshorn Brown
Substitutes not used: John Berner, Davy Armstrong, Marlon Hairston, John Neeskens, Jared Watts
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Adam Garner, Anthony Vasoli
4th Official: Younes Marrakchi
Weather: Clear and 86 degrees