Real Salt Lake vs Colorado Rapids - Game Preview

Colorado will have to contain the young but talented Luis Gil - Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids travel to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, to face their arch-rivals Real Salt Lake in the first installment of the Rocky Mountain Cup for the 2013 season.

On Saturday, March 16th, the Colorado Rapids will play Real Salt Lake in what MLS is calling 'rivalry' week. The schedulers have installed rivalry weeks throughout the MLS campaign so unfortunately this Rocky Mountain Cup match will not be featured on national television despite the fact that it normally is showcased for the entire nation. The Seattle Sounders home match against the Portland Timbers will be featured on primetime for a national TV audience after the rocky mountain rivals face each other on Saturday evening.

Colorado (0-2-0) are looking for their first points of the season after disappointing close losses to FC Dallas and Philadelphia respectively. Jamie Smith scored the first goal of the season in front of a smaller then expected crowd at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on the weekend. A powerful snowstorm forced the home opener to be played on Sunday despite the organization insisting they would play in the snow on Saturday.

Real Salt Lake (1-1-0) will be playing their home opener against the Rapids after two road matches against San Jose and DC United. RSL have had to do without the services of Jamison Olave and Fabian Espindola after both players were sent to the New York Red Bulls in the offseason. The Claret and Cobalt have dominated the Rocky Mountain Cup as of late, but the all-time record is tied with both teams having won 9 times each, which also includes 7 draws.

The MLS Cup champions of 2009 (RSL) and 2010 (Colorado) are both expected to be in the playoff hunt in what looks like a wide open Western Conference, though RSL is the more sure bet of the two. However, the Rapids have been playing rookie players such as DeShorn Brown and Dillon Powers due to injures to Edson Buddle and Martin Rivero. Over 100 Rapids supporters from the Centennial 38 supporters group will be making the trek out to Rio Tinto Stadium in what is sure to be an entertaining Rocky Mountain Cup matchup.

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