When I think about Utah I usually think about two things. They have an excellent number of passing lanes on their highways and a virtually non-existent homeless problem. If that's the most complimentary thing I can say about your state then I think it's safe to say it's a place to drive through, not to visit. That being said i've been to Utah for three straight years because of the Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry and various sporting events. Whether it's the Rapids, Denver Nuggets, or CU Buffaloes usually Colorado teams have a tough time in the Beehive state. That's why in Salt Lake earlier this season when the Rapids rookies Clint Irwin, Dillon Powers, and Deshorn Brown brought the first points in the dirty river stadium it was the most fruitful trip to the region for me and a hint of what was to come for the Rapids on the season.
I had a guest on my podcast earlier in the week insisting that the Rapids were not really thought of as rivals to them. Except for the fact that the Rocky Mountain Cup is the only regional trophy that either team competes for Colorado doesn't really look up to Real in any other MLS category. The Rapids have been to more MLS Cup finals and were able to get an expansion team in the inaugural year of MLS. Denver a top twenty television market and Salt Lake is outside the top thirty. Both mid-market but Denver supports a top level pro team in every league in the United States. Salt Lake couldn't come up with a better name than the Jazz. Maybe the Mormon Tabernacle Choir can start a jazz band or something so the name will make sense.
Really the only point they have against the Rapids is the record of 6-2 in Rocky Mountain Cup victories and allegedly they have better snow. But who wants to be a ski bum in Utah with all the history of Aspen, Vail, and Breckenridge? I feel that just like "Northern Colorado" is trying to break away from Denver and Boulder counties that Grand county in eastern Utah that includes Moab and Arches National Park should secede and join Colorado. Their tourism industry would explode not just with the craft beer industry but legalized marijuana and the tax money that would bring. If that trend caught on we would have to change the American Flag because California would split into at least two states and Texas maybe three causing many more heated rivalries because it's basically a break-up and people get bitter after a break-up. So just remember the next time you are driving through Utah and are passing slow people in one of their copius amount of passing lanes that this is the best they have to offer in this state. Getting people out of it as fast as they can.
As for the game this weekend the last time Dillon Powers played without Hendry Thomas, who'll be missing this match based on yellow accumulation, was a loss to a below average Chicago Fire team. So I hope that Shane O'Neill can play Hendrys role and give German Mera the start to lock down Alvaro Saborio. Who has had a few tough games this year at the DSGP. Including the U.S. men's snow game victory against his visiting Costa Rica brethren. After Powers man of the match performance last week against the defending champs. I believe he's excited to bring his first silverware home. He dominated the mid-field the first two times these teams met. It feels like the Rapids have Salt Lakes number this season. This Saturdays contest could be a preview of a playoff match-up come November and at the very least it looks like the Western Conference playoffs will go through the mountain time zone.