The Rocky Mountain Cup is back – well not the cup, but the match-up. It’s game one of three versus Real Salt Lake, and this time we go there. Rio Tinto stadium is not a place that the Rapids have done well and the fact that the burgundy boys have yet to win on that pitch is a constant reminder of that.
Overall the Rapids are 13-17-10 against the rivals to the west; this year the Rapids go west twice. If we’ve learned anything from Coach Hudson it’s that if you give him three games, he will give you at least 4 points and that could be enough to bring the Rocky Mountain Cup back home but it’s too early to tell. RSL has been holding on to the RMC for the past two seasons, two seasons too long and the Rapids are determined to bring it back.
Rapids supporters love to see RSL below the Rapids in the standings, but the Rapids are just one point above RSL currently. This adds a bigger emphasis on a win for the Rapids; a four point lead against your rivals is always a good thing.
Jack Price is a focal point for this game, he wasn’t training fully earlier in the week which may have implied a minor injury, but it may not be something that keeps him out of the lineup. Assuming all is good and Price plays, the discussion on everyone’s mind is “Will Price get the next yellow card so he sits now instead of later”? Either way, I’m pretty confident the team is prepared for his absence when that time comes.
It’s the absence of Marlon Hairston that has the right side of the defense in question a bit. Kip Colvey was Coach Hudson’s first choice, but subbed in Dillon Serna in the 39th minute last week. It didn’t look like Colvey had that spot in training earlier this week. Will Dillon Serna get his first start of the season or will we see someone else step in that spot for a short time?
Kortne Ford is on the mend, could be a few games away as he was pushing his fitness levels earlier in the week. Danny Wilson and Joe Mason were with trainers; which in most cases implies that they are out for at least this game. Does Yannick Boli get the start or do you give it to Gashi?
Enzo Martinez was subbed out of the game last week due to a little knock, but he and Price were not with the other injured players so something tells me that both of them will be included in the lineup today.
The club, and most of all the players know how important this game is for the fans and the hundred or so C38 die-hards who crossed the state line (drunkenly in a bus is the only way they will do it) so expect a gritty battle filled with scoring chances. RSL is facing the most shots of any team this year, averaging 17.3 shots against, this could be an entertaining game.
Predicted starting XI: Tim Howard, Deklan Wynne, Axel Sjoberg, Tommy Smith, Dillon Serna, Enzo Martinez, Jack Price, Johan Blomberg, Edgar Castillo, Shkelzen Gashi, Dom Badji.
OUT: Kortne Ford (left MCL sprain), D – Marlon Hairston (right knee surgery) D – Danny Wilson (undisclosed)
Real Salt Lake
QUESTIONABLE: D – Shawn Barry (hamstring), M – Luke Mulholland (hamstring), D – Demar Phillips (ankle), D – Marcelo Silva (groin)
OUT: OUT: D – Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), M – Jordan Allen (knee), D – Taylor Peay (knee)
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Saturday, April 21st @ 7 pm MST
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium Sandy, Utah
TV Information: AltitudeTV
Live Stream: MLS Live (blackouts apply)
C38 Viewing Parties:
- Downtown – Celtic on Market in Denver 1400 Market St, Denver
South – Blue Spruce Brewing 4151 E County Line Rd G, Centennial
Halfpenny Brewing – 5150 East Arapahoe Road
North – Murphy’s Tap House – 585 McCaslin Blvd, Louisville
East – Cheluna Brewing – Stanley Marketplace 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora, CO 80010