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Starting XI & Game Preview: Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake

Let’s hope the referees do a better job this time and the Rapids come out on top.

John A. Babiak - @Photog_JohnB

In the past, the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake played each other three times every year. Usually, this meant that one club had the opportunity to crush the others’ playoff hopes, but this year that’s out of the question. The only thing on the line tonight is the Rocky Mountain Cup.

Real Salt Lake has the lead, having won 3-2 at Dick’s earlier in the season. This means that the Rapids need to win by at least two goals to re-claim the RMC and give it the care and cleaning it needs (Last time the Cup came back to Colorado it had only one good handle).

That being said, it’s hard to call it a rivalry when RSL has pretty much powned the Rapids for years. The last time the Rapids beat RSL was two years ago in 2017 and the last time they won at Rio Tinto was… never. It’s been over a decade since the Rapids have been able to earn three points in Utah. That alone is reason enough to dislike Real Salt Lake.

Despite firing Mike Petke earlier this month due to his ongoing verbal vomit towards the league and its officials, RSL has managed to put together a decent season so far. They’ve won three of their last four games and currently sit in 5th place in the West.

There are no new changes to the reported injury list: Kortne Ford and Deklan Wynne are still out and Tim Howard is still listed as questionable. As for RSL, there will be some adjustments since their left back Aaron Herrera and left midfielder Corey Baird are both suspended. This is a perfect opportunity for Keegan Rosenberry and Sam Nicholson to pressure that side all night.

Although the Rapids have not been able to bring the Rocky Mountain Cup back to their supporters since 2015, this is the game that always has that little extra something in the air. Even more so when Ted Unkle is the center referee.

Predicted Starting XI:

Officials

Referee: Ted Unkel

Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Jason White

4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal

VAR: Dave Gantar

Colorado

OUT: Kortne Ford (knee), Deklan Wynne (foot)

QUESTIONABLE: Tim Howard (calf)

Suspended: none

Suspended after next caution: Kellyn Acosta, Danny Wilson, Kei Kamara, Lalas Abubakar

Salt Lake

OUT: Jordan Allen (M) - knee injury, Tony Beltran (D) - knee injury, Nick Besler (M) - foot injury

QUESTIONABLE: N/A

Suspended: Corey Baird (F), Aaron Herrera (D)

Suspended after next caution: Sebastian Saucedo (M), Kyle Beckerman (M), Nick Besler (M), Everton Luiz (M)

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Saturday, August 24th at 8 p.m. MST

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium — Sandy, UT

TV Information: AltitudeTV

Radio: 92.5 FM

Live Stream: ESPN+ (subscription required)

C38 Watch Party: Frolic Brewing