Game Preview: Rapids v Real Salt Lake

by Brendan Wyatt

This year the Rocky Mountain Cup is only two games instead of three like it has been in the past.  For Rapids fans this means that the chances of Real Salt Lake crushing the Rapid’s playoff hopes are out of the question.  It has happened too many times in the past where the Cup was not the only thing on the line.

Tonight, the Cup is the only thing on the line.  Real Salt Lake has the lead having won 3-2 at Dicks earlier in the season.  This means that the Rapids need to win by two goals or score more than four and win for Centennial 38 can re-claim the RMC and give it what ever care and cleaning it needs.  Last time the Cup came back to Colorado it had only one good handle.

It’s hard to call it a rivalry when RSL has pretty much powned the Rapids for years.  The last time the Rapids beat RSL was two years ago in 2017, the last time they won at Rio Tinto was… Never. It’s been over a decade since the Rapids have been able to earn three points in Utah.  That alone is reason enough to learn to dislike Real Salt Lake.

Despite firing Mike Petke a few weeks back due to his ongoing verbal spillage of the league and its officials, RSL has managed to put together a decent season so far.  Having won three of their last four games RSL now sit in 4th place in the west, tied with Seattle, who the Rapids will be hosting in two weeks.

No new changes to the reported injury list, with both Ford and Wynne out and Tim Howard listed as questionable.  As for RSL there will be some adjustments they will have to make with their left back (Aaron Herrera) and left midfielder (Corey Baird) suspended. This is a perfect opportunity for Rosenberry and Nicolson to pressure that side all night. 

Although the Rapids have not been able to bring the Rocky Mountain Cup back to their supporters since 2015 this is the game that always has that little extra something in the air.  Even more so when Ted Unkle is the center referee.

Predicted starting XI: Clint Irwin, Keegan Rosenberry, Tommy Smith, Lalas Abubakar, Sam Vines, Jack Price, Kellyn Acosta, Sam Nicolson, Diego Rubio, Andre Shinyashiki, Kei Kamara


Referee: Ted Unkel

 Assistant Referees:  Jeremy Hanson, Jason White

4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal

VAR: Dave Gantar


OUT: Kortne Ford (knee), Deklan Wynne (foot)

QUESTIONABLE: Tim Howard (calf)


Suspended after next caution: Kellyn Acosta, Danny Wilson, Kei Kamara, Lalas Abubakar


OUT:  Jordan Allen (M) – knee injury, Tony Beltran (D) – knee injury, Nick Besler (M) – foot injury


Suspended: Corey Baird (F), Aaron Herrera (D)

Suspended after next caution: Sebastian Saucedo (M), Kyle Beckerman (M), Nick Besler (M), Everton Luiz (M)

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Saturday, August 24th at 8 p.m. MST

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT

TV Information: AltitudeTV

Radio: 92.5 FM

Live Stream: ESPN+ (subscription required)

C38 Watch Party:Celtic on Market, Frolic Brewing