The Rocky Mountain Cup.
It may not be the biggest rivalry in Major League Soccer, it is one that is filled with late drama, hatred, championships and the occasional shirt that gets stuffed down the pants.
Basically: it is everything that you would want in a derby match.
And the matches have, by and large, been very close over the years with very little difference in the win loss record over the series. But as you can see by the tables below, RSL holds a distinct advantage in the only statistic that matters: cups won.
|2007||Real Salt Lake|
|2008||Real Salt Lake|
|2009||Real Salt Lake|
|2010||Real Salt Lake|
|2011||Real Salt Lake|
|2012||Real Salt Lake|
|2014||Real Salt Lake|
|Wins||Losses||Draws||Goals For||Goals Against||Rocky Mountain Cups|
|Real Salt Lake||12||10||9||37||29||7|
There are a number of matches that stand out as special for me:
October 25, 2008--Rapids 1:1 RSL
This one is a painful one. The Rapids needed a victory to qualify for the playoffs that year and were in good shape after an 11th minute goal from Conor Casey. A victory would have also meant that the Rapids would get back the Rocky Mountain Cup after RSL had won in 2007. But it was all for naught as the Rapids would give up a 90th minute equalizer that allowed RSL to qualify for the playoffs for the first time, keep the RMC and keep the Rapids out of the playoffs. It was a brutal end to the season and one that will not soon be forgotten.
October 24, 2009--RSL 3:0 Rapids
For as painful the 2008 match was, this one was worse. Myself and three of my mates all drove out for this one and it was as ugly as it seemed. The Rapids were completely and utterly outplayed by RSL and if the Rapids could have come out with a victory, they would have made the playoffs. They did not and RSL did. And this victory propelled RSL to their only MLS Cup Championship in November of 2009.
October 23, 2010--Rapids 2:2 RSL
Remember this one? The Rapids were up going into stoppage time and Matt Pickens made two horrendous mistakes that gave the tie to the visitors from Utah. For me, I was so shocked and stunned that I was speechless. But......the silver lining is that it switched the Rapids to the Eastern Conference and that worked out pretty well as the Rapids went on to win the MLS Cup Championship that November.
August 3, 2013--Rapids 2:2 RSL
For the first time since 2006 the Rapids were able to take back the Rocky Mountain Cup from their rivals. It was not pretty, and the team had to 'weather' a hour long plus rain delay, but they did it. Seeing the cup being paraded around the stadium took a massive weight off the Rapids shoulders and provided supporters with a special moment.
What will the 2015 edition bring? Honestly, it is difficult to say with the Rapids current run of form, but getting off on the right foot this Sunday is critical. A win is vital for the Rapids playoff chances, but getting at least a draw would be massive. The second and third games in the RMC this year are at Dick's Sporting Goods Park so the opportunity to take back the cup is there, but it starts on Sunday at 3PM in Sandy, Utah.