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Real Salt Lake Earns 3-2 Road Victory Over Rocky Mountain Rivals


COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (Saturday, May 20, 2023) – Real Salt Lake (4-6-3, 15 points, West 11) netted a trio of first-half goals to earn a 3-2 road win over Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado Rapids. Captain Damir Kreilach, Pablo Ruiz and Danny Musovski each found the back of the net in the first 45 minutes on the way to victory, putting the Claret-and-Cobalt well on its path to clinching its third consecutive Rocky Mountain Cup, and possibly the 12th in the last 15 campaigns (the Covid-affected 2020 title is disputed).

Looking to win its third consecutive Rocky Mountain Cup against its long-time rivals, Colorado Rapids, but also balancing the needs of a Round of 16 matchup in the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in four days, Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni rolled out a heavily-rotated squad with a balance of youth and veteran experience. The team found itself on the back foot after Rapids forward Bryan Acosta curled a shot towards the upper-right corner of goal, but veteran goalkeeper **Zac MacMath** - one of nearly two dozen players to have played on both sides of the Rockies in the last 19 years - was able to push the ball up and off the crossbar. 

Quickly thereafter, Real Salt Lake took the lead in the 12th minute when Homegrown defender **Bode Hidalgo** sent a pass towards an oncoming **Pablo Ruiz** well outside the 18-yard-box. With one touch, Ruiz skipped his low laser of a shot underneath the arms of a diving William Yarbrough and into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead. RSL doubled its lead less than 10 minutes later, when Yarbrough fumbled a shot from Captain **Damir Kreilach**, but forward **Danny Musovski** was there to scoop up the loose ball, putting his left-footed shot into the back of the net, his first MLS goal for RSL since arriving from LAFC last summer.

The Rapids were able to pull one back in the 33rd minute after Colorado was awarded a free kick, which Connor Ronan used to place a cross onto the head of Danny Wilson, bringing the scoreline to 2-1. Just before the end of the first half, Captain Kreilach notched his second goal of the year, one-touching his shot with his right foot, sending it screaming past into the far post to take the 3-1 lead heading into the halftime break. 

With the two-goal lead in hand, Real Salt Lake entered the second half looking to continue its offensive prowess, pestering the Rapids’ backline to no avail. In the 61st minute, Colorado looked to have an eye for goal when Kevin Cabral broke out towards goal, but second-half substitute **Justen Glad** was able to track him down, eventually blocking his shot and preventing the scoring opportunity. In the 74th minute Lalas Abubakar cut the Rapids’ deficit again, rising up to head in a cross from Wilson, making the game 3-2 in favor of RSL.

Real Salt Lake was able to withstand Colorado’s efforts to equalize for the remainder of the second half, with major stops from the Claret-and-Cobalt’s defensive unit, to steal the 3-2 road victory in leg one of the Rocky Mountain Cup. 


RSL: Pablo Ruiz (Bode Hidalgo) 12th minute: Hidalgo fought his way down the sideline towards goal before cutting back and sending the ball upwards to an oncoming Ruiz. From well outside the 18-yard-box, Ruiz skipped his one-touch shot underneath the diving arms of Colorado’s goalkeeper. 

RSL: Danny Musovski 21st minute: Rapids goalkeeper William Yarrough fumbled Damir Kreilach’s initial shot, leaving a loose ball inside the six-yard-box for Danny Musovksi to easily tap in with his left foot. 

COL: Danny Wilson (Connor Ronan) 33rd minute: After being awarded a freekick, Ronan sent a cross into the head of Wilson who flicked the ball into the far post. 

RSL: Damir Kreilach (Rubio Rubin, Bertin Jacquesson) 44th minute: Running onto a long ball overtop the defensive line, Jacquesson dribbled the ball towards goal before chipping a short pass to Rubin. Rubin spun around his defender before finding an unmarked Kreilach who one-touched a shot with his right foot, tucking the ball into the far post. 

COL: Lalas Abubakar (Danny Wilson, Connor Ronan) 74th minute: Wilson sent a cross towards the head of Abubakar who flicked it into the back of the net.

UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake will remain in Colorado for its Round of 16 matchup against Colorado Rapids in the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The team will then travel to Minnesota United next Saturday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m. MT before returning to America First Field to host LA Galaxy on Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 p.m. MT.


  • Homegrown defender Erik Holt made his first start this year for Real Salt Lake in just his second match of the season, having missed time due to a shoulder injury. 
  • Forward Danny Musovski’s goal in the 21st minute marked his first in Major League Soccer for Real Salt Lake and his third in the last seven across all competitions. 
  • 2023 MLS SuperDraft pick and University of Pittsburgh alumni Bertin Jacquesson earned his first assist for RSL in MLS play and his second across all competitions, coming in just his second League start.
  • Homegrown defender Bode Hidalgo earned his first career assist for Real Salt Lake, providing the helper for Pablo Ruiz’s goal in the 12th minute. 
  • Real Salt Lake’s two goals within the first 23 minutes is the first time the team has done so since August 31, 2022, a span of 18 games across all competitions dating back to a 3-0 victory against Minnesota United. 
  • Meanwhile, the trio of first-half goals marked the first time the team has recorded three goals in the first 45’ since October 18, 2018 in a 4-1 win over New England Revolution at America First Field. 


Real Salt Lake (4-4-2): Zac MacMath; Bode Hidalgo, Erik Holt (Justen Glad 46’), Brayan Vera, Bryan Oviedo; Bertin Jacquesson (Andrés Goméz 59’), Jasper Löffelsend (Braian Ojeda 59’), Pablo Ruiz, Rubio Rubin (Andrew Brody 84’); Danny Musovski (Anderson Julio 70’), Damir Kreilach

Subs not used: Gavin Beavers, Delentz Pierre, Emeke Eneli, Ilijah Paul

Colorado Rapids (3-1-4-2): William Yarbrough; Keegan Rosenberry, Danny Wilson, Andres Maxso, Lalas Abubakar (Anthony Markanich 88’), Sam Nicholson; Connor Ronan, Bryan Acosta (Ralph Priso 62’), Braian Galvan (Michael Barrios 62’); Jonathan Lewis, Kevin Cabral

Subs not used: Marko Illic, Calvin Harris, Danny Leyva, Steven Beitashour, Yosuke Hanya, Moise Bombito

Stats Summary: RSL / COLShots: 12 / 7

Shots on Goal: 4 / 4 

Saves: 2 / 2

Corner Kicks: 4 / 4

Fouls: 13 / 16

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY:COL: Bryan Acosta (caution) 28’
RSL: Bryan Oviedo (caution) 32’
RSL: Danny Musovski (caution) 35’
COL: Sam Nicholson (caution) 45+2’
RSL: Bode Hidalgo (caution) 58’
RSL: Braian Ojeda (caution) 62’
RSL: Brayan Vera (caution) 73’
COL: Kévin Cabral (caution) 77’