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Game Preview and How to Watch: Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake

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The Rapids have never won at Rio Tinto. Can they break the curse tonight?

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

Prior to trading Kyle Beckerman to Real Salt Lake for Mehdi Ballouchy and a bag of balls, the Colorado Rapids had won only three games in Utah. Coincidentally, the Rapids have not won a game in the Beehive State since.

Sadly, that is not a joke—the Rapids have failed to win a game in Sandy for 13 years. That is beyond troubling for the long-time Rapids fans and even harder for newer fans to understand. I simply call it the Beckerman curse; the club should never have traded the up-and-coming star. Call it money, call it egos vs Pablo, but no matter what you call it, it was arguably the single worst move the Colorado Rapids have made in their existence.

Someday the Rapids will get a win in Rio Tinto, but something tells me that if Kyle Beckerman is on the roster, the odds are stacked against them. It has gotten to the point where the fans are blaming themselves for putting too much pressure on their beloved team. All they want is for Colorado to return the Rocky Mountain Cup home. No pressure guys, you lost 4-1 at home a few weeks ago, so barring a miracle the only thing we ask for is for you to break the curse. Just get a win.

Damir Kreilach is a player to watch. Not just by fans, but the Croatian midfielder needs to be marked heavily by the Rapids. Kreilach, is RSL’s leading scorer (five goals and an assist) and has scored against the Burgundy Boys in both meetings this year. If Jack Price returns to the starting lineup this week, he will have his work cut out for him to take some of the pressure off the backline.

Tactically speaking, Collen Warner is a more defensive player than Price, and either he or Danny Wilson could be slotted into the midfield to help with the defensive responsibilities. Real Salt Lake have a plethora of talent in the middle of the field and if the Rapids intend on keeping their unbeaten streak alive, they may have to come out playing a bit more defensive than they want.

William Yarbrough took a knock to the hip in Wednesday night’s game and although he finished out the game, you have to wonder if there is a chance that Clint Irwin could make a return to the starting lineup, especially with all the double-game weeks. Changing up the lineup will allow players to get the rest and recuperation that they need.

None of this means that a win is out of the realm of possibility, but it does mean that things could get ugly. Counter attacks and keeping possession in the midfield will be the best chance the Rapids have at a win.

Predicted Starting XI: Clint Irwin, Keegan Rosenberry, Auston Trusty, Lalas Abubakar, Sam Vines, Jack Price, Kellyn Acosta, Cole Bassett, Diego Rubio, Younes Namli, Kei Kamara

Officials

Referee: Ramy Touchan

Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Cameron Blanchard

4th Official: Rosendo Mendoza

VAR: Younes Marrakchi | AVAR: TJ Zablock

Colorado

OUT: Kortne Ford (knee)

QUESTIONABLE: N/A

Suspended: none

Suspended after next caution: none

Real Salt Lake

OUT: Tate Schmitt (knee)

QUESTIONABLE: N/A

Suspended: none

Suspended after next caution: Justen Glad

How to Watch

Match Date/Time: Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. MT

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium — Sandy, UT

TV Information: Altitude on DirecTV or streaming with AT&T (One week free trial with the MAX package)

Radio Information: 92.5 FM on Altitude Sports Radio

Live Stream: ESPN+ (subscription required, must be outside of the region)*

Watch Party: Celtic on Market, Frolic Brewing Company (Westminster), Blue Spruce Brewing (Highlands Ranch)

Second Screen Virtual Gameday: https://www.coloradorapids.com/live

*Vox Media/Burgundy Wave has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Burgundy Wave may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.