The Colorado Rapids' frustrating struggles against Real Salt Lake in recent years have been well documented and I'm sure you don't need to be reminded of them. For three years in a row now, RSL has had a hand in knocking the Rapids out of the playoffs, be it by tiebreakers like two years ago or crushing them in the final game of the season like last year. They've also had the Rocky Mountain Cup for three years, unsurprisingly coinciding with the Rapids' playoff drought.
It's not going to be easy to start off the two game set this season against RSL with a victory, if they want the Rocky Mountain Cup they're going to have to buck some trends in order to get a couple of points out of Rio Tinto Stadium this evening.
Colorado has not had good road form this season, with a 3-6-3 record away from home. Real Salt Lake has been nothing short of dominating at home, with no losses this season and a home unbeaten streak stretching an impressive 23 league games going into the showdown tonight. Their defense is tops in the league and with their gang of hot goalscorers Javier Morales, Robbie Findley etc. they can score from just about anywhere. The only possible savior for the Rapids in that regard is that RSL is coming off of a hard fought CCL match up earlier in the week and should be somewhat fatigued while the Rapids are playing on full rest.
The Rapids will be playing without their best striker, the red hot Omar Cummings. The Rapids will certainly miss his goalscoring form, as he'd put in five goals in his last five games including the only goal in their last road match. In his place will most likely be Macoumba Kandji or just a switch to the 4-5-1 formation that we saw Gary Smith pull out for most of the season until about August. Julien Baudet will most likely miss the game as well, meaning another probable start for the impressive Anthony Wallace.
The point here will most likely be to go into RSL, make a stand and end with a draw.