What To Expect As Real Salt Lake Returns To Pitch For Date With Rapids

Oct 15, 2021, 2:55 PM
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake...
Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids will go to battle against one and another in a fixture that will determine the winner of this year’s Rocky Mountain Cup.

The game will likely be fierce, filled with emotion as the two teams fight for not only silverware but Western Conference standings as the pointy end of the Major League Soccer regular season rear’s its ugly head.

Both teams have taken a break from the action and spent the past two weeks focusing on themselves and the health of their roster while also detailing specific areas of the game that they would like to improve upon.

For Real Salt Lake, the main focus has been on establishing some resemblance of a defensive structure shortly after a loss of possession occurs. Under interim manager Pablo Mastroeni, the emphasis has been on creating more goal-scoring chances, which the team has succeeded at. However, the inability to stop opposing teams from scoring has plagued Real Salt Lake under Mastroeni’s guidance.

When a loss of possession occurs, Real Salt Lake is wanting to quickly pressure the ball carrier before they can find a teammate in space, a task that is very much easier said than done.

If Real Salt Lake can limit the time an opposing team takes to move the football from one side of the pitch to the other, Real Salt Lake should benefit.

Furthermore, moments throughout games occur quickly. One small pause throughout the decision-making process can have a profound impact on the outcome of a game, especially at the Major League Soccer level. Real Salt Lake must act instinctively and trust that the freedom in which they play will manifest into positive results.

The Rapids are a formidable Western Conference rival. The history of the games between the two teams, and the quality that Colorado possesses this year will make life incredibly difficult for Real Salt Lake on Saturday evening.

Led by the midfield partnership of Kellyn Acosta and Jack Price, Colorado pose as an incredibly difficult team to break down. The addition of Mark-Anthony Kaye has bolstered the midfield. While the attacking prowess of Michael Barrios, Jonathan Lewis, and Diego Rubio has proven to be lethal throughout the course of the 2021 season.

But for Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa the key for Real Salt Lake against the Rapids and the remaining six regular-season games remains with communication.

“I think we are at our best when we are all communicating and holding each other accountable,” Ochoa said when asked what the most important task is for Real Salt Lake on gamedays.

Communication will play a key role for Real Salt Lake down the stretch, fortunately, Ochoa has never shied away from letting his emotions be felt on the pitch. He is the ultimate communicator.

Western Conference Standings

Real Salt Lake finds themselves in the fifth position in the West, two points clear of Vancouver who finds themselves in eighth place. The Rapids are comfortably sitting in third place in the West with a five-point buffer on fourth-placed Portland.

A Real Salt Lake win will further cement their chances of reaching the post-season while a loss could temporarily eliminate them from a playoff spot.

Match Info

Real Salt Lake will host Colorado Rapids on Saturday, October 16th, with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m.

The match will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports & KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.



  • Real Salt Lake Scoreboard

  • Real Salt Lake Team Leaders

  • Real Salt Lake Standings

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What To Expect As Real Salt Lake Returns To Pitch For Date With Rapids