Bad Blood Between Rapids, Real Salt Lake Spawned Through Mastroeni Vigor
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Old school Real Salt Lake will never forget September 2nd of 2006 when then Colorado Rapids midfielder Pablo Mastroeni and Real Salt Lake owner Dave Checketts exchanged pleasantries following a Rapids’ 1-0 victory.
Minutes prior to the heated argument between Mastroeni and Checketts, Mastroeni was seen taking off his shirt before stuffing it down his pants and slapping his hip, much to the displeasure and disdain of the local Real Salt Lake fans at Rice Eccles Stadium.
Interestingly, despite multiple battles on the field and long being known as the player to spawn what is still a heated rivalry today, Mastroeni is currently acting as the interim manager of Real Salt Lake.
You see this week Mastroeni will not be trying to get under the skin of the Real Salt Lake players, staff, or executives, rather, he will be preparing his players to hopefully beat the club that recently retired his famous number 25, making his number the first number to ever be retired in Rapids’ history.
A win over the Rapids and future favorable results for Real Salt Lake could end in the interim tag being removed from Mastroeni’s profile. The stakes are high.
Remarkably, in the years 2007, 2008, and 2009, Real Salt Lake eliminated Colorado from post-season play by beating them in three consecutive final regular-season fixtures.
The 2009 game is the most significant as that 3-0 victory over the Rapids on October 24th sparked a five-game unbeaten run that would culminate in the club’s first and only MLS Cup.
Furthermore, in 2007 Kyle Beckerman was traded from Colorado to Real Salt Lake in exchange for young RSL playmaker Mehdi Ballouchy. The trade is regarded as one of the most lopsided in the MLS. Beckerman went on to play 14 seasons in Utah while Ballouchy only managed 77 games over a three-year span in a Colorado kit.
The Final RMC Chapter Of 2021
Real Salt Lake can secure a win or a draw against Colorado to retain the Rocky Mountain Cup. Previously this season, Real Salt Lake beat the Rapids 3-0 on Pioneer Day before the Rapids evened the series with a 2-1 win in Colorado on August 21st.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on October 16th at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The match will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports & KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.