Depleted Real Salt Lake Travel To Colorado For First Edition Of Rocky Mountain Cup Showdown

Apr 1, 2022, 2:44 PM | Updated: Oct 3, 2022, 11:40 am
Damir Kreilach celebrates his first half goal on October 16 against Colorado Rapids. Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY – Real Salt Lake travels to Colorado for the first edition of the Rocky Mountain Cup in 2022 in the second consecutive road fixture for Real Salt Lake following last week’s loss to SKC on the road.

Last week’s loss was the first of the season for Real Salt Lake who suffered a 1-0 defeat to Johnny Russell and SKC at Children’s Mercy Park. This weekend’s fixture against Colorado will be the first time this season that Real Salt Lake has played consecutive road matches.

Injury Concern & Extreme Hardship Waiver

Real Salt Lake’s injury concerns have worsened following last weekend’s loss to SKC. Manager Pablo Mastroeni and the club currently have nine players listed as ‘out’ and two more are listed as ‘questionable’.

The injury list includes; David Ochoa (right quad), Aaron Herrera (left calf), Zack Farnsworth (right ankle), Bret Halsey (ankle), Justen Glad (hamstring), Erik Holt (left foot), Johan Kappelhof (left calf), Jonathan Menendez (adductor), and Bobby Wood (hamstring). While Jasper Löffelsend (hamstring), and Nick Besler (nose) are listed as questionable.

Due to the long list of injured players, Real Salt Lake was granted an ‘Extreme Hardship Waiver’ by Major League Soccer. Allowing defender Bobby Pierre and midfielder Pierre Reedy to be called into the first team from the Real Monarchs.

MLS “Extreme Hardship” rules dictate that once a team has fewer than 16 outfield players available, temporary solutions can be found.

Rapids Strong Home Streak

The Rapids under Manager Robin Fraser is on the verge of tying a very impressive club record. Between March 12, 2016, to March 18, 2017, the Rapids went on a 19-game undefeated run at home. Currently, Colorado is unbeaten at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in their previous 18 matches.

Real Salt Lake last beat Colorado on the road in 2020 when RSL scored four second-half goals to beat the Rapids 4-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

“This is a really interesting rivalry,” said Rapids head coach Robin Fraser. “I’ve been on both sides of it and regardless of how either team is playing on the year, somehow these games are just really hard-fought games. We know that, and going into this, yes, it’s good to be playing the first one at home and have the attempt to get a leg up at home. But wherever we play them, whether it’s here or there, it’s always a real fight. We know that that’s what it takes to compete with them and to be able to ultimately come out on top.”

So far this season, Colorado has played four games, posting a 2-1-1 record with wins coming against Atlanta and SKC. They currently sit in sixth place in the Western Conference with a game in hand on Real Salt Lake.

Close Contacts

Manager Pablo Mastroeni will return to the club he once captained to their only MLS Cup. Mastroeni’s number 25 kit is the only jersey to be retired in Rapids history. He is widely regarded as one of the most heralded players to ever don the Burgundy kit. Furthermore, Mastroeni also spent three and a half seasons managing Colorado, during that time he led the Rapids to their best regular-season record of all time with a franchise-low 6 points and a franchise-high 58 points in 2016. That same year he finished second in MLS Coach of the Year voting.

Goalkeeper Zac MacMath, who has been superb to start the 2022 season, also spent significant time on the other side of the Rockies. MacMath was with the Rapids between 2016 and 2018 where he saw 28 appearances prior to the arrival of US legend Tim Howard.

Game Info

Real Salt Lake and Colorado will kick off at 7 p.m. from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The fixture will be available to stream for free via the KSL Sports & KSL 5 TV apps or on KSL Sports dot com.

Unlike previous seasons, Real Salt Lake and Colorado will only play one another on two occasions in 2022 with the return leg scheduled to be hosted by Real Salt Lake on July 9.


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