Pre-Game: @ Salt Lake

by Brendan Wyatt

Normally when it’s rivalry week, MLS doesn’t give a hoot about Colorado and Salt Lake.  Most likely because the supporters created it and want nothing to do with corporate sponsors so this match up often gets overlooked by the major media.  Not for us though as C38 practically scans the schedules when they get released just so we can plan around three of the most important games this Rapids team will play.

Tonight is game two of three in the Rocky Mountain Cup with an 8pm kickoff. If the Rapids don’t win this one all hopes of any silverware this season will be gone.  With a detrimental 2-1 loss to RSL at home back in April means that the burgundy boys will have to reverse the result in order to keep the RMC within grasp.

RSL can be a goal machine, with three 4+ goal game performances’ since the beginning of July.  On the flipside of that though, RSL has lost six games by 3 or more goals this season so they are a bit Jekyll & Hyde.  One other way to beat Salt Lake is to get ahead early as RSL is 1-11-1 when trailing at halftime.  The Rapids are 2-2-1 when leading at halftime and that is one of the better stats for me to post.

The Rapids record at Rio Tinto is just as astonishing as the one in Portland; it simply needs improving, just like the Rapids away record this season; one sure is the loneliest number.  How about 100? 100 or more of C38’s biggest die-hards are bus bound to catch this game.

There will be no Beckerman for the group to heckle; as a result from picking up a yellow on Wednesday he will be roaming the halls under the stadium tonight.  He may be kickin’ it with his feet up in one of the suites upstairs for all I know. Regardless, yellow card accumulation means he’s going to sit this one out.

Based on how we saw the Rapids lineup against Portland on Wednesday, it would be a pretty good assumption to think we will see our A team today.  Even though Luis Gil got quite a bit of time on the pitch Wednesday, it would be pretty epic if he went on to score against his former team (I don’t count his time in Orlando and I don’t think many C38 people do either). No matter who scores for the Rapids, with the Rocky Mountain Cup on the line it will have some extra drama added to it.

Predicted starting XI: Howard, Hairston, Watts, Sjoberg, Miller, Saied, Azira, Boateng, Badji, Doyle, Gashi.

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