COMMERCE CITY, Colorado (Saturday, April 2, 2022) – Real Salt Lake (3-1-2, 11 points) earn a hard-fought road point in 1-1 draw against Colorado Rapids in leg one of Rocky Mountain Cup. With the draw, Real Salt Lake needs a win at home on July 9 at Rio Tinto Stadium to maintain possession of the Rocky Mountain Cup.
Midfielder Pablo Ruiz’s first-half goal off a penalty kick, and five saves from goalkeeper Zac MacMath help Claret-and-Cobalt split points with Rocky Mountain rival.
With a heavily rotated squad, Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni returned to his former stomping grounds for leg one of the Rocky Mountain Cup. In the first half Colorado had the Claret-and-Cobalt on their heels, withstanding the waves of pressure from the Rapids with goalkeeper Zac MacMath making two saves to pressure the score line. In the final minute of the first half Real Salt Lake was awarded a penalty kick for a foul inside the 18-yard-box on forward Justin Meram. Ruiz converted the penalty with a left-footed shot into the left side of goal to take the 1-0 lead into the halftime break.
Colorado opened the second half pressing for the equalizer with several opportunities within the first ten minutes, culminating with a sliding goal in the 56th minute from Lalas Abubakar to level the score. The two sides continued to look for the game-winner with the possession alternating back and forth. It seemed as if RSL may have found it in the 76th minute when midfielder Bode Davis crossed a ball into forward Sergio Cordova who’s rocket of a shot was pushed up and over the crossbar by goalkeeper William Yarbrough. In the final 10 minutes Colorado had several consecutive chances at goal, but MacMath and the RSL defense was able to keep them at bay to earn the point with the 1-1 result on the road.
UP NEXT: Real Salt Lake returns to Rio Tinto Stadium to host Eastern Conference opponent Toronto FC on Saturday, April 9 at 6:00 p.m. MT for Utah Jazz night.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
RSL: Pablo Ruiz (PK) 45th minute:After RSL was awarded a penalty kick for a foul on Justin Meram inside the 18-yard-box, Ruiz stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the ball into the left side of the goal to convert the penalty and take the lead late in the first half.
COL: Lalas Abubakar (Michael Barrios) 56th minute: Barrios passed a ball across the face of goal to the far post where a charging Abubakar stuck a foot out to tap it into the back of the net.
- Justen Glad, Zack Farnsworth, Aaron Herrera, Erik Holt, Johan Kappelhof, Jasper Löffelsend, Bret Halsey, Jonathan Menendez, David Ochoa and Bobby Wood were unavailable due to injury
- Forward Justin Meram made his 300th Major League Soccer regular-season appearance.
- Homegrown defender Jaziel Orozco earned his first Major League Soccer start after making his debut as a half-time substitute last week against Sporting Kansas City.
- Defender Pierre Reedy, a short-term extreme hardship signing, made his MLS debut as a second-half substitute for Maikel Chang.
Match: Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids
Date: April 2, 2022
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Good Park; Commerce City, Colorado
Weather: Clear and 55
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 0 1
Colorado Rapids 0 1 1
RSL: Pablo Ruiz (PK) 45’
COL: Lalas Abubakar (Michael Barrios) 56’
Real Salt Lake (4-3-3): Zac MacMath, Andrew Brody, Jaziel Orozco, Marcelo Silva, Tate Schmitt; Pablo Ruiz, Scott Caldwell, Everton Luiz (Bode Davis 72’); Maikel Chang (Pierre Reedy 83’), Sergio Cordova, Justin Meram (Damir Kreilach 64’)
Subs not used: Tomas Gomez, Bobby Pierre, Rubio Rubin, Chris Garcia
Colorado Rapids (3-4-3): William Yarbrough; Lalas Abubakar, Danny Wilson, Auston Trusty; Keegan Rosenberry, Jack Price, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Lucas Esteves; Michael Barrios, Diego Rubio, Jonathan Lewis (Andre Bava Shinyashiki 85’)
Subs not used: Nicolás Mezquida, Steven Beitashour, Drew Moor, Max, Collen Warner, Clint Irwin, Sebastian Anderson, Darren Yapi
Stats Summary: RSL / COL
Shots: 5 / 16
Shots on Goal: 2 / 6
Saves: 1 / 5
Corner Kicks: 4 / 5
Fouls: 8 / 10
COL: Danny Wilson (caution) 26’
RSL: Pablo Ruiz (caution) 50’
RSL: Marcelo Silva (caution) 74’
RSL: Tate Schmitt (caution) 90’
Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Tiffani Turpin
4th Official: Ricardo Fierro
VAR: Kevin Stott