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Game Preview: Real Salt Lake vs Colorado Rapids

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The Rapids are looking for their first win in Rio Tinto.

It’s a redemption match if anything for the Colorado Rapids as they travel to Sandy, Utah to take on Real Salt Lake. Many fans will recall the first game between the two teams earlier this year for a slew of reasons, most of all Tim Howard’s red card in the 20th minute. That game was the turning point of the Rapids season as they had looked promising and somewhat productive. Then RSL happened and the Rapids went into a spiral that had them losing the next eight games.

Let’s forget that the Rapids have yet to win a game at Rio Tinto stadium — there is always a chance to snap that streak until it happens. The Rapids are a healthy squad and Coach Hudson should have a good idea how to get revenge on RSL. Although, the Rapids will be without the services of leading scorer Dominique Badji as he is in Senegal, finalizing paperwork for his green card.

Real Salt Lake are banged up a bit and have a handful of guys who are out with both long-term and short-term injuries. RSL coach Mike Petke is suspended for this game because of comments made about the referees and VAR last week. For a team that is already Jekyll and Hyde, it’s hard to say which way this incident will affect RSL.

Rapids training this week could be viewed as both offensive and defensive as well as transitioning into the counter-attack. It’s not as if they were drawing up some new elaborate scheme, but rather fine-tuning the simple things.

Tonight’s match is game two of the Rocky Mountain Cup, though with RSL winning the last game 3-0, it will take a big Rapids win to even the aggregate. Having a second chance to beat a team that started your losing streak should add an element of desire, the Rapids may just have it in them to win one at Rio Tinto.

Predicted starting XI: Tim Howard, Kortne Ford, Axel Sjoberg, Tommy Smith, Johan Blomberg, Danny Wilson, Jack Price, Sam Nicholson, Edgar Castillo, Jack McBean, Yannick Boli

Colorado

OUT:

QUESTIONABLE: F- Giles Barnes (ankle)

Suspended: None

Suspended after next caution: M - Johan Blomberg

Salt Lake

OUT: D - Tony Beltran (right knee surgery), M - Jordan Allen (knee surgery), GK - Alex Horwath (Achilles surgery), D - Shawn Barry (knee injury), D - Demar Phillips (ankle injury), M - Luke Mulholland (back injury), D - David Horst (Achilles surgery), F - Ricky Lopez-Espin (knee surgery), GK - Connor Sparrow (knee injury)

QUESTIONABLE:

Suspended: HC – Mike Petke, D - Marcelo Silva

Suspended after next caution: None

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Saturday, July 21 at 8 p.m. MT

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium — Sandy, UT

TV Information: AltitudeTV

Radio: Altitude950

Live Stream: ESPN+ (subscription required)

C38 Viewing parties: Celtic on Market (Denver), Mudrock’s Tap & Tavern (Louisville)