SANDY, Utah (Saturday, June 6, 2015) – Real Salt Lake kicks off its annual Rocky Mountain Cup series Sunday against rival Colorado Rapids at Rio Tinto Stadium, as the nationally-televised match appears at 3:00 p.m. MT on ESPN2, with the game also carried on ESPN700 (2:00 p.m. MT pre-game) and La Gran D 102.3 FM / 1600 AM. Former RSL DF and current analyst Brian Dunseth – the author of the first home goal in club history, April 16, 2005 against Colorado – will call the match, alongside play-by-play man Jonathan Yardley.
Real Salt Lake (4-5-5, 17 points, West 9) completed the rare three-game, nine-point sweep in last year’s series against the Rapids, capturing the fan-created Rocky Mountain Cup for the seventh time in the last eight seasons with an uncharacteristically gritty 1-0 road win in suburban Denver, as RSL played the final 44 minutes a man down following the ejection of DF Aaron Maund, but heroics from GK Nick Rimando and the entire RSL team made a 15’ Javier Morales goal stand up for the game – and Cup – winner.
Sunday’s match – just the second home reg. season contest on a Sunday in the club’s 11-season history, and the third overall – is the 32nd overall in the RSL v. Colorado series, RSL with a 12-10-9 mark against the Rapids, outscoring them 37-29 all-time. On Utah soil, RSL holds a 9-3-4 record against Colorado with a 24-11 scoring advantage. With a win Sunday, RSL’s total of 13 in the series would match its greatest reg. season total against any opponent, as the Claret-and-Cobalt have a 13-12-4 record against Chivas USA and a 11-12-7 mark against LA Galaxy.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Colorado Rapids
• Coverage Begins: 3:00 p.m. MT
• TV: ESPN 2 – Jonathan Yardley & Brian Dunseth
• English Radio: ESPN700 AM (2:00 p.m. MT) – Bill Riley & Jeremy Horton
• Spanish Radio: 102.3 La Gran D FM / 1600 AM – Nelson Moran & Fernando Hortal
• Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide match updates
Game Guide for Sunday’s RSL v. COL Match Now Available Online
Following is the link to the Adobe PDF version of the MLS Game Guide in advance of Sunday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids.
June/July Slate Dictates Home Cooking for RSL; Open Cup / CCL Paths Determined
Following Saturday’s 2-0 home victory over NYCFC two weeks ago, RSL improved to 2-1-3 at home this season, as Rio Tinto Stadium prepares to host six of the club’s next eight MLS matches, along with the Tuesday, June 16, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup contest against Seattle Sounders FC 2.
Last week, RSL discovered its 2015/16 Champions League Group, as the club will face Santa Tecla FC (El Salvador) and Municipal (Guatemala) with two home games and two away scheduled during six possible matchdates in August/September/October. RSL and the remaining 23 clubs will ascertain dates and times in the coming weeks.
RSL’s last home match on May 23 kicked off a run that sees RSL play eight games in 34 days from May 23-June 27 (seven MLS reg. season matches plus one U.S. Open Cup contest; stretch could extend to 10 games in 44 days with a 4th-round USOC win, as the June 30 Open Cup window comes into play).
Schedule Congestion Catalyst for Squad Rotation
As a result of the schedule congestion described above, RSL boss Jeff Cassar has distributed minutes all over the roster in anticipation of quick turnarounds and key absences due to international duty, suspension, injury and fatigue, as 21 different players have earned starts for the Claret-and-Cobalt in 2015’s first 14 games, while 25 players – all but GK Lalo Fernandez, DF Phanuel Kavita and DF Boyd Okwuonu – have logged MLS minutes in 2015.
When MF John Stertzer scored his first career goal in last Saturday’s 2-0 home win over NYCFC, he became the 58th player of the 124 that have worn the RSL crest in MLS play to find the back of the net, while 18-year old DF Justen Glad – who made his MLS debut last Saturday in Vancouver – became the 124th player to appear on club’s behalf.