SANDY, Utah (Friday, August 26, 2016) – Real Salt Lake set out to win the Rocky Mountain Cup and leapfrog the Colorado Rapids in the standings. With a 2-1 victory on Friday night in front of a crowd of 20,134 in attendance and a national television audience, the Claret-and-Cobalt did just that, winning the supporter-created rivalry trophy for the eighth time in 12 years and jumping to second in the Western Conference.
FW Yura Movsisyan scored two goals as RSL came from behind to win for the sixth time this season while GK Nick Rimando made six saves to earn the victory. Rimando also surpassed Kevin Hartman with his 417th career MLS appearance while MF Kyle Beckerman overtook Steve Ralston with 33,145 career minutes played, passing Ralston in the 88th minute to become MLS’s all-time iron man.
Every comeback starts by falling behind though, and it didn’t take long for Colorado’s counter-attack to catch Real Salt Lake. Dominique Badji got sprung forward in the fifth minute and while Rimando saved the initial effort, Shkelzen Gashi got to the rebound first and blasted it inside the far post for his fifth goal of the season to put RSL behind 1-0.
However, momentum shifted in RSL’s direction not long after the goal and Salt Lake would take six unanswered shots before the halftime whistle. On the sixth, Movsisyan netted his eighth goal of the season to knot things up in the 39th minute.
RSL had Colorado pinned in its own end and FW Juan Manuel Martinez sent a ball to the left side of the box for DF Demar Phillips. After taking a touch, he sent it back across the six-yard box to Movsisyan at the near post for a first-time shot that beat Tim Howard to equalize at 1-1.
That’s the way it stayed heading into halftime and Movsisyan added another on the other side of intermission.
In the 48th minute, FW Joao Plata worked a give-and-go with Martinez up the left side and Plata got free at the edge of the box. He crossed to Movsisyan at the top of the box where he cut back to his left foot and lifted a shot into the top corner for his second goal of the match and ninth of the season, putting RSL in the lead at 2-1.
Movsisyan had a chance at a hat trick when he was taken down in the box in the 56th minute on a run into the box. Referee Juan Guzman pointed to the spot and Movsisyan stood over the ball with a chance at his first MLS hat trick. He got Howard to guess the wrong direction, but powered his shot wide and the score remained 2-1.
Salt Lake had another opportunity to extend the lead in the 83rd minute, this time when Martinez was taken down on a charge up the endline. He was taken down from behind and Guzman again pointed to the spot. This time MF Javier Morales took the penalty and sent a shot inside the right post, but Howard got a glove to it for the save, resulting in an RSL corner.
DF Jamison Olave forced Howard into another save on the ensuing corner, getting his head to a ball from Morales at the far post as Howard got a fingertip to it to parry it over the bar for another corner.
The Rapids nearly made Salt Lake pay in the 87th minute when Gashi took a shot from the left side of the box that forced Rimando into a diving save, pushing the ball clear with his glove to preserve the victory.
The win lifts RSL to 8-0-5 at home and 12-8-7 (43 points) overall to climb into a tie with the Rapids (11-4-10, 43 points) on points, but RSL holds the first tie-breaker, wins.
Real Salt Lake will remain at home to host the LA Galaxy on September 7 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
GAME NOTES – RSLvCOL
- MF Jordan Allen returned to the field for RSL after being out of action since July 22 because of a hamstring injury suffered at the Chipotle Homegrown Game.
- DF Chris Schuler made his 2016 MLS debut, coming into the match in stoppage time for his first MLS appearance since July 11, 2015, after suffering knee and foot injuries that kept him out of action. He made nine appearances for the USL’s Real Monarchs before signing with RSL on August 11.
- GK Nick Rimando broke Kevin Hartman’s all-time record with his 417th career MLS start.
- MF Kyle Beckerman is now the all-time leader in minutes by a field player, passing Steve Ralston’s career record in the 88th minute to finish the match with 33,145 career minutes played.
- DF Tony Beltran missed the match while serving a one-match suspension for yellow card accumulation.
- The win was RSL’s sixth comeback win of the season to go with three come-from-behind draws as well, giving the club 21 points from a losing position.
REAL SALT LAKE 2-1 COLORADO RAPIDS
FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2016
RIO TINTO STADIUM
Goals by Period 1 2 F
Real Salt Lake 1 1 2
Colorado Rapids 1 0 1
COL: Shkelzen Gashi 5’
RSL: Yura Movsisyan (Demar Phillips) 39’
RSL: Yura Movsisyan (Joao Plata) 48’
COL: Dillon Powers (Caution; Foul) 60’
COL: Marc Burch (Caution; Dissent) 84’
COL: Tim Howard (Caution; Foul) 92+’
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1): Nick Rimando; Chris Wingert, Justen Glad, Jamison Olave, Demar Phillips; Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland; Juan Manuel Martinez (Chris Schuler 93+’), Javier Morales, Joao Plata (Jordan Allen 89’); Yura Movsisyan (Olmes Garcia 76’).
Substitutes not used: Jeff Attinella, Omar Holness, Boyd Okwuonu, John Stertzer.
Colorado Rapids (4-2-3-1): Tim Howard; Eric Miller, Bobby Burling, Axel Sjoberg, Marc Burch; Sam Cronin, Dillon Powers (Micheal Azira 61’); Marco Pappa, Shkelzen Gashi, Dominique Badji (Caleb Calvert 61’); Kevin Doyle.
Substitutes not used: Zac MacMath, Dennis Castillo, Conor Doyle, Jared Watts, Mekeil Williams.
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Adam Garner, Apolinar Mariscal
Fourth Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 84