SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake (13-6-10, 49 points, West #3), defeated Colorado Rapids (8-14-7, 31 points, West #7) 5-1 on Friday night in front of a sold-out Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake went down 1-0 in the 21st minute after Colorado MF Jose Mari scored a long-range rocket from 30 yards out. Real Salt Lake came back with a vengeance, scoring five unanswered goals in the 32nd, 33rd, 37th, 45th and 63rd minutes, to down Colorado 5-1 and sweep the Rocky Mountain Cup rival for the first time.
Real Salt Lake controlled the start of the match but didn’t register its first real chance until the 12th minute. The play started with RSL MF Javier Morales on the right wing who found MF Luke Mulholland just outside the corner of the box. The Englishman played a square ball to RSL FW Joao Plata who took a touch and sent a bending shot from 20 yards out that missed just wide of the left post.
In his first start for the Claret-and-Cobalt, newly signed Argentine FW Sebastian Jaime showed off some skill, testing the Rapids ‘keeper in the 15th minute. Mulholland found Jaime with a long ball at the top of the area that the Argentine deftly trapped to set himself up for a half-volley. Jaime’s attempt looked ticketed for the right corner but Colorado GK Joe Nasco came up big with a diving one-handed save to deny the MLS newcomer.
Colorado managed to take the lead in the 21st minute. The Rapids kept an attempted RSL clearance alive in the final third, knocking the ball around the area before finding Mari 30 yards out from goal. The Spaniard tried his luck from distance, taking down the ball with his chest and bending a beautiful shot through traffic that snuck just inside the right post past a screened Rimando.
Real Salt Lake came back with a vengeance after succumbing the lead, scoring four unanswered goals before halftime, with Plata finding the equalizer in the 32nd minute. The play started with RSL working around the top left corner of the box, eventually finding RSL DF Chris Wingert 30 yards out. The left back played a pass to MF Ned Grabavoy right at the top of the area who then rolled a pass to Plata who took a touch and blasted a shot into the upper-90 to pull RSL level 1-1.
The goals kept on flowing with RSL’s Morales scoring the go-ahead goal just a minute later. The Argentine found the back of the net off of a corner kick, sending a rocket towards goal that appeared to take a deflection that put it past Nasco.
Real Salt Lake DF Chris Schuler then went on to give the home side a 3-1 lead in the 37th minute. The Claret-and-Cobalt earned a free kick outside the area on the left side that Morales blasted straight Nasco, but the Colorado ‘keeper was unable to hold on to the shot, letting it bounce right in front of him. Schuler continued his run and easily knocked the loose ball into the net with his hips.
Real Salt Lake went ahead 4-1 at the close of the first half with a Colorado own goal. The play started with Jaime who nicely one-touched a pass into the path of Morales inside the box. Morales then sent a low ball across the face of goal that Plata ran onto, forcing a slide tackle from Colorado DF Marc Burch. The Rapids defender appeared to last touch the ball that seemed headed wide of the net. Nasco attempted to clear it but his touch ended up securing its passage into the goal.
The Claret-and-Cobalt continued to make the most of Colorado’s mistakes, scoring a fifth goal in the 63rd minute off a corner kick. Morales took the corner, whipping a ball into the box that Nasco came out to corral but spilled instead. The loose ball fell to the feet of RSL DF Carlos Salcedo who smoothly finished from 15 yards out for his first career goal.
Colorado almost pulled one back in the 80th minute. Rapids FW Deshorn Brown received the ball on the right side and cut into the box. Brown unleashed a rocket of a shot that pinged off the crossbar and out of play.
Real Salt Lake will hit the road next week, as it heads north of the border to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 5:00 p.m. MT. The RSL-Vancouver contest will be broadcast on CW30, ESPN 700 and 102.3 La Gran D FM.
Real Salt Lake Match Notes – RSL 5–1 COL
Tonight’s attendance of 20,692 marked Real Salt Lake’s 13th sell-out in MLS play this year and 12th straight if including RSL’s international friendly against Club Tijuana. The sell-out marked the second-highest attendance ever recorded at Rio Tinto Stadium and was the 43rd sell-out across all competitions since the Sandy facility’s opening in 2008.
With tonight’s win the Claret-and-Cobalt still remains third in the Western Conference and moves into third in the league with a 13-6-10 record and total of 49 points. Real Salt Lake has five games remaining in the MLS regular season to make up ground in the Supporters’ Shield race. Seattle Sounders FC has already clinched a playoff berth as it sits atop the league with 54 points and a 17-7-3 record. LA Galaxy are close behind with 51 points.
- Tonight’s match was Real Salt Lake’s third and final regular season record meeting with Colorado Rapids. RSL swept its Rocky Mountain Cup rival in 2014 with three wins – the first time RSL has done so against the Colorado club. The Claret-and-Cobalt took home the Rocky Mountain Cup in their previous meeting, a 1-0 win at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Aug. 2. RSL defeated the Rapids 2-1 in their first encounter of the year on May 17 at Rio Tinto Stadium. The Claret-and-Cobalt has now won the RMC seven times in the past eight years.
- Real Salt Lake improved its regular season record against Colorado Rapids to 12-10-9 all-time. The Claret-and-Cobalt is now 9-3-4 at home against Colorado, outscoring the Rapids 24-11 in Utah.
- Real Salt Lake FW Joao Plata scored his 13th goal of the year, finding the equalizer in the 32nd minute. Plata leads RSL in scoring in 2014 and now has the third-highest single season goal scoring record in club history. RSL MF Ned Grabavoy was credited with the assist, his third helper this year.
- RSL MF Javier Morales notched his ninth goal of the year, giving RSL the lead in the 33rd minute.
- RSL DF Chris Schuler scored RSL’s third goal of the game in the 37th minute, his third of the season.
- Real Salt Lake was without veteran DF Nat Borchers after the center back received a red card in RSL’s loss at Seattle last week. Claret-and-Cobalt DF Carlos Salcedo started in his place, his seventh appearance and third start in 2014. Salcedo notched his first ever career goal in the 63rd minute – also the first goal ever scored by an RSL homegrown player.
- Tonight’s five goals marked the second time RSL has scored as many in a match this year, previously notching five in its 5-2 win over Houston Dynamo on May 11. It also marks the first time ever that RSL has had two five goal games in a season.
- Despite their World Cup departure, Rimando and Beckerman rank first and second, respectively, amongst active MLS players in all-time regular season minutes played (Rimando: 33,093; Beckerman: 28,536), games played (NR: 366; KB: 347) and games started (NR: 366; KB: 318).
REAL SALT LAKE 5–1 COLORADO RAPIDS
FRIDAY, SEPT. 19, 2014
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 4 1 5
Colorado Rapids 1 0 1
COL – Jose Mari – 21’
RSL – Joao Plata (Ned Grabavoy) – 32’
RSL – Javier Morales – 33’
RSL Chris Schuler – 37’
RSL – Joe Nasco (OG) – 45’
RSL – Carlos Salcedo – 63’
COL – Shane O’Neill (Yellow; Persistent Infringement) – 36’
COL – Dillon Serna (Yellow; Foul) – 84’
COL – Marc Burch (Yellow; Foul) – 88’
Real Salt Lake (4-1-2-1-2): Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Carlos Salcedo, Chris Schuler (Aaron Maund, 45’), Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman (C), Ned Grabavoy (Luis Gil, 83’), Javier Morales, Luke Mulholland; Joao Plata, Sebastian Jaime (Robbie Findley, 70’)
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella; Abdoulie Mansally; Cole Grossman; Alvaro Saborio
Colorado Rapids (4-4-2): Joe Nasco; Marc Burch, Marvell Wynne, Thomas Piermayr, Shane O’Neill; Dillon Serna, Jose Mari, Kamani Hill (Marlon Hairston, 45’), Carlos Alvarez (John Neeskens, 82’), Deshorn Brown (Charles Eloundou, 82’), Gabriel Torres
Substitutes not used: Clint Irwin; Dillon Powers, Christopher Klute, Grant van de Casteele
Referee: Ricardo Salazar
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Paul Scott
4th Official: Juan Guzman
Weather: Clear and 70 degrees