Real Salt Lake played another chapter of the Rocky Mountain cup and it was not the way the team wanted it to go, but it was a hard fought 90 minutes and RSL deserves credit where credit is due.
The defense played well, despite the absence of the preferred starting center back, Aaron Maund. The offense tried to create chances with the passes made from the middle third, but the finishing touch was not there last night. Despite not getting the result, the team as a whole played a good game. The player who had the biggest impact on the game was none other than RSL's captain, Kyle Beckerman.
Beckerman’s consistency this season has been an anchor for the defense and the team and it was especially apparent last night against the Rapids. Playing against his counterpart, Jermaine Jones, was a thing of beauty. Typically Jones plays more of a defensive midfield position, like Beckerman, but in Colorado he has been playing more of a hybrid attacking midfielder which put them to go up against each other multiple times in the game. Beckerman was not only able to deal with Jones, but he was able to get forward and create some clear chances for goals.
What makes Beckerman so unique is that he is the hardest working player on the field when he is on there. He does all of the dirty work that no one else does. He tracks back and wins the ball and relieves pressure off the backline. He was able to also win the ball back in the final third, and if he loses it, he will work through it and will put pressure on the defender to force a mistake in the clearance to win the ball back down the field.
Beckerman was able to create chances for goals with a great top corner show in the 61st minutes that was pushed away by Colorado goalkeeper Zac MacMath. The clearest chance that any player from RSL had came in the 85th minute a pass from Burrito Martinez to Yura Movsisyan, who backheeled it to Beckerman that gave him a chance to score which was, again, saved by MacMath.
Real Salt Lake has to shake this game off quick. They will look to their captain to lead the way and to move on to next week where they keep the long stretch of road games going against the Houston Dynamo.