RSL SEALS 6th-STRAIGHT SUBARU ROCKY MOUNTAIN CUP WITH 2-0 WIN V. COLORADO
RSL Turns In Dominant Defensive Performance, Clinches Cup with 1 RMC Game Remaining
SANDY, Utah (Saturday, July 21, 2012) – Real Salt Lake (12-7-3, 39 points, West #2) clinched its sixth-straight Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup title on Saturday night, beating the Colorado Rapids (7-13-1, 22 points, West #7) 2-0 in front of a sellout crowd of 19,492 to seal the annual competition with one RMC match still remaining. FW Álvaro Saborío and MF Will Johnson scored for the Claret-and-Cobalt, which extended its unbeaten run against the archrival Rapids to eight games – a streak that dates back to May 2009.
RSL controlled the early stages of the match, holding the majority of possession and smothering Colorado’s attack. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s first chance came in the 17th minute, when DF Nat Borchers – who had joined the attack seconds earlier for a RSL set piece – nearly flicked home a low cross from MF Javier Morales home with his left foot.
Real Salt Lake went ahead in the 32nd minute, getting a wacky goal from Saborío to take a 1-0 lead. FW Fabian Espíndola set up the play, chasing down a weak back pass from Colorado DF Drew Moor and winning a 50-50 ball with Rapids GK Matt Pickens six yards from goal to set Saborío up for the easiest of tap-ins.
RSL continued attacking after taking the lead and nearly got a second goal in the 35th minute. Saborío had the chance, running on to a fabulous flick from Espíndola and tearing towards goal before firing a shot just wide from the top of the 18.
Neither side mustered much else before halftime, during which Colorado brought on dangerous FW Omar Cummings for MF Jaime Castrillon. The change moved Colorado out of its uninspired 4-5-1 formation and into a 4-4-2.
Neither the formation change nor the addition of Cummings did much for the Rapids, which – despite holding more of the ball than they did in the first half – failed to create much of anything against RSL’s strong defense throughout the second half.
RSL had the first chance of the second half in the 65th minute, when GK Nick Rimando played a goal kick to an open Espíndola just outside the box before the Argentine striker lashed a left-footed shot wide. The Claret-and-Cobalt had an even better look in the 67th minute, when Morales collected a loose ball 25 yards out and forced Pickens into a fine save with a shot that looked ticketed for the top-left corner.
RSL took advantage of another Colorado defensive mistake to seal the game in the 90th minute. Saborío stole the ball from Colorado DF Tyrone Marshall in the middle of the Rapids’ final third and quickly played a through ball to Johnson, who buried a hard shot inside the far post from the right side of the box.
Real Salt Lake returns to action next Friday, July 27, when they’ll host the Vancouver Whitecaps at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets for the Western Conference matchup can be purchased at www.RealSaltLake.com or by calling (801) 727-2701. RSL will begin its run through the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League just four days after the Vancouver match, playing at Costa Rican champions C.S. Herediano in the Group 2 opener on July 31.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 2-COL 0
- Saturday’s 2-0 victory clinched RSL’s sixth-straight Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup. The Claret-and-Cobalt’s 6-0 point advantage is too big of a margin for Colorado to overcome in the third and final Cup match on Aug. 4 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
- With the win, RSL GK Nick Rimando moves past former Chicago, New York and Chivas USA GK Zach Thornton and into sole possession of No. 2 on the All-Time MLS career wins list with 132 league victories.
- RSL was without captain Kyle Beckerman for the second time in five games due to suspension on Saturday night. The All-Star MF was banned from the Colorado match after picking up a red card in last week’s lopsided 5-0 loss at San Jose. MF Yordany Alvarez replaced Beckerman, going the full 90 minutes in his third MLS start of 2012.
- RSL’s 12-7-3 record is the second-best mark through 22 games in franchise history, placing just one point behind the 2010 squad’s total through the same amount of matches.
- The Claret-and-Cobalt has now posted three home shutouts in a row, not giving up a goal at Rio Tinto since conceding in the 84th minute against San Jose on June 23 – that’s 276 minutes since an opposing team last scored at Rio Tinto.
- Though RSL holds a comfortable 6-2 Rocky Mountain Cup title advantage over Colorado, it took until Saturday night for the Utah side to get above .500 all-time against the Rapids, with the Utah side now holding a 9-8-7 series advantage over Colorado.
- RSL substitute MF Jonny Steele picked up a yellow card in the 82nd minute of Saturday’s match and will be suspended for Friday’s game against Vancouver due to yellow card accumulation.
- RSL has yet to win a MLS game this year without DF’s Jamison Olave and Tony Beltran in the lineup. Both Olave and Beltran have played in all 12 of RSL’s 2012 wins – the only Claret-and-Cobalt players to do so.
REAL SALT LAKE 2 - COLORADO RAPIDS 0
SATURDAY, JULY 21, 2012
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
Colorado Rapids 0 0 0
Scoring Summary: RSL – Álvaro Saborío (Fabian Espíndola) – 32’
RSL – Will Johnson (Álvaro Saborío) – 90’
Misconduct Summary: COL – Joseph Nane (Foul) – 45’
RSL – Jonny Steele (Foul) – 82’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2) – Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Jamison Olave (Kwame Watson-Siriboe, 63’), Nat Borchers, Chris Wingert; Yordany Álvarez; Ned Grabavoy, Will Johnson; Javier Morales (C); Fabian Espíndola (Jonny Steele, 77’), Álvaro Saborío
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Reynish (GK), Kenny Mansally, Justin Braun, Luis Gil, Emiliano Bonfigli
Colorado Rapids (4-5-1) – Matt Pickens; Drew Moor (C), Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Tyson Wahl; Tony Cascio, Jaime Castrillon (Omar Cummings, 46’), Joseph Nane, Martin Rivero (Kamani Hill, 74’), Wells Thompson; Edu (Brian Mullan, 56’)
Substitutes Not Used: Steward Ceus (GK), Hunter Freeman, Shane O’Neill, Jamie Smith
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee's Assistants: Kevin Kuliba, Baboucarr Jallow
4th Official: Allen Chapman
Time of Game: 1:55
Weather: Cloudy and 88 degrees