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What we’re watching in RSL vs. Colorado Rapids

RSL host the Rapids in a battle for the Rocky Mountain Cup.

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

After a dominating win against San Jose, Real Salt Lake will look to defeat their oldest rival on Saturday. Colorado has been struggling lately. They recently fired their head coach, haven’t won in seven games, and even lost to DC 1-0 with an own goal. RSL can capture the Rocky Mountain Cup with a win over the Rapids (we play them once more in October). Perhaps more importantly, if RSL do win, they keep their playoff hopes alive.

Beckerman Out

The captain will miss this game due to yellow card accumulation. This means we’re likely to see a midfield with Luke Mulholland and Sunny. We’re awfully thin in midfield right now with Beckerman out, Holness injured, Velazco out/injured, etc., so we could see the recently signed Nick Besler make his first appearance for the senior team. He’s been good as a defensive midfielder for the Monarchs and could make an impact on this game. Seeing Besler would be exciting but there’s a lot on the line, so coming on as a sub late in the game would be ideal.

Forwards vs. the post

Real forwards hit the post three times in their last match, had a goal recalled after video review, and still managed to win 4-0. Four beautiful goals. The RioT was electric. Yura got a late goal and once again push his name to the top spot for goals scored this season. Every one of our attackers looked dangerous. Silva scored for his third game in a row and that kind of constancy is what we need from a center forward.

Lifting the Cup

This is something I hope to see. The rivalry between RSL and Colorado has calmed down significantly over recent years, especially when compared to Sporting Kansas City, but it’s still a rivalry. Colorado is our first enemy and we are fully capable of beating them at home. There’s also more on the line than retaining the Rocky Mountain Cup. At this point in the season with where we stand in the table, basically every game is a must win game. What we saw against San Jose was everything I want to see against Colorado: defensive discipline and attacking prowess. A win is imperative.