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Downstream Game 6: “Home” against RSL

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RSL didn’t really look impressive at any point during the MLS is Back Tournament.

Real Salt Lake v Colorado Rapids - MLS Is Back Tournament Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Real Salt Lake Stats

2020 Record: 1-1-3, currently 9th in the Western Conference

Goals For: 3

Goals Against: 3

MLS is Back Tournament: Made playoffs with a 1-1-1 record, lost first game in the Round of 16

Last Result: Loss to San Jose Earthquakes 5-2

Last 5 results for the Rapids against RSL: 4 losses, 1 draw

So... looks like we’re back to a regular season? Or at least whatever constitutes a “regular season” in the Upside Down that is the year 2020. With six games announced in a very condensed schedule, the Colorado Rapids have a chance to make up for some lost time, make a case for being a playoff team, and basically show RSL, Dallas, SKC, San Jose, and Houston what for.

I’m going to give the Rapids a little slack when it comes to the game against RSL in the tournament. It was the first time they had played any true professional minutes in months and they got to the Orlando Bubble later than planned. We played with a different lineup, featuring newcomer Nicolas Benezet. Our 2019 Iron Man Keegan Rosenberry was out and his replacement at right back was Jeremy Kelly, a rookie that we drafted from the University of North Carolina. All of that led to a game that didn’t make the Rapids look good, like at all. But, to be fair, RSL didn’t exactly look impressive in their win either.

But, that was then. This is now. There isn’t any excuse for the Rapids to not play like beasts and come away with three points—even if we won’t be able to be there to celebrate with them.

RSL didn’t really look impressive at any point during the entire tournament. They got what I feel was a lucky result against a team that wasn’t fully prepared, got beat badly by SKC, and totally slapped in the tournament playoffs by a surprisingly lethal San Jose team. They’ve scored a total of three goals over their first five games of the regular season (five goals over six games, counting their playoff game). They have a big question on their hands with where the goals are going to come from. They have consistently been one of the most overrated teams in the league and it’s time they got beat.

Since the tournament, basically nothing has happened for them roster-wise. Their DP Albert Rusnak is currently listed as questionable for the game as of the official MLS Injury Report released on the 18th, so he might not be available. That would be a major benefit for the Rapids, as he is usually one of their more reliable players. Aside from that, no new players have joined and no players have left. In many ways, this feels like this should be a rematch of the first game in the tournament. Only difference, we should be a lot more prepared for this one.

The team has confirmed that these two games during this six-game microseason will both count for the Rocky Mountain Cup, so we absolutely need to crush them. Get revenge for the bad showing in MLS is Back and make a statement about how talented this team really is. The tournament didn’t go great, thanks to a few key mistakes and unfortunate cards. But, a lot of circumstances were outside of our control. Now, we should be able to mentally reset and be prepared to give RSL a thrashing.

Editor’s Note: RSL should be without Kyle Beckerman and Marcelo Silva this weekend. Both players were shown red cards in the club’s last game of the MLS is Back Tournament.