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This Week in RSL History: Baird breaks through, Rio Tinto ties MLS record

A rookie proves his worth, and a fortress unbreached.

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

This Week in RSL History will look back at events from Utah Soccer’s past. At times this will also include a breakout “This Day in RSL History” to cover significant events, while The Week will give more of an overview of events to allow all of us a chance to say, “hey, I remember that!”

We continue with events that occurred this week over the years, Oct. 12–18. Do you remember any of these events?

October 12th

  • Watch for a special “This Day” article later today.

October 13th

  • 2018: Charlie Adams scored an absolute screamer of a goal in the 37th minute to give the Monarchs a 1-0 win on the road in Fresno and ensured a 4th place finish going into the playoffs.

October 14th

  • 2009: With 3 games to go, RSL had not yet clinched a playoff berth. Desperate for points the attacked the New York Red Bulls relentlessly, and finally broke the deadlock in the 80th minute after a breakaway following a failed Bulls corner kick. It was RSL’s first ever win vs the New York side, and allowed RSL to hold on to a playoff berth for another week.
  • 2011: Once again RSL crossed the mountain for the final Rocky Mountain Cup match vs the Rapids. RSL had not yet clinched a playoff berth, but were firmly in the running with 2 games to play, a win would earn both the berth and the RMC. RSL’s defense held firm to get a 0-0 draw, keep the cup for the 5th year, and maintain 3rd place in the playoff hunt - as well as deny the Rapids their playoff spot for another week.
  • 2015: Both RSL and visiting Portland Timbers needed wins to clinch playoff berths with 3 games left to play in the season. Each team had some very good chances, but defenses held until a Timbers breakaway led to an RSL player getting ejected for DOGSO. Portland scored the only goal, got the 3 points and their playoff spot.

October 15th

  • 2006: RSL paid a visit to their expansion companion Chivas USA for the final regular season match of 2006. Chivas had already clinched their playoff spot, and RSL had only the faintest sliver of hope needing a win and a Colorado loss to give them the final berth. Hopes were dashed with the Rapids tying the Houston Dynamo. RSL slotted home the tying goal in the final minute of regulation to salvage a 1-1 draw against Chivas, however the other MLS results did have a silver lining with RSL striker Jeff Cunningham winning the MLS Golden Boot for the season.
  • 2007: The Houston Dynamo came to Utah firmly in the running for a playoff berth, while RSL’s hopes for one were looking dim after last week’s loss to Chivas. In the end the Texans would pull off a 1-0 win and punch their playoff ticket on the way to eventually winning the MLS cup.
  • 2017: The Rapids were already eliminated from the playoffs, while RSL needed a win to keep their hopes alive with 1 game left. The Rocky Mountain Cup had already been decided so all the Rapids had left to play for was to hurt their rivals. They did just that with a goal in the 3rd minute. RSL poured on the pressure, but Tim Howard built a solid wall for the Rapids making 7 saves to keep the Utah scoreless. The loss eliminated RSL from the playoffs.

October 16th

  • 2010: “El Castillo” remains unbreached! With the final regular season home game of 2010 RSL faced FC Dallas who would be the last hopeful team to emerge from Utah with a win and break RSL’s regular season home unbeaten streak. Fans partied long after the eventual 2-0 win ensuring a playoff berth, becoming only the 2nd MLS team to ever go undefeated at home, and sparking a fantastically memorable promo video for the 2011 season!
  • 2016: Neither RSL nor Sporting Kansas City could lock up a playoff spot after a scoreless draw at the RioT.
  • 2019: It looked to be a promising start for the Monarchs as they scored in the 5th minute, but the Austin Bold would equalize 15 minutes later; the Monarchs earned a PK not long after the equalizer, but the Bold’s keeper pawed it over the bar to preserve the draw going into the break. Early in the 2nd half Kyle Coffee would once again give the Monarchs the lead, but Bold pressure once again equalized leaving this game a 2-2 draw.

October 17th

  • Watch for a special “This Day” article later this week.

October 18th

  • 2008: Only the 2nd game at newly opened Rio Tinto Statdium saw RSL face off with FC Dallas. The visitors would take the lead in the 6th minute, relishing the chance to despoil the newly christened stadium. Unfortunately it would all fall apart for FCD when Marcelo Saragosa went in elbow-first on Robbie Russell and got ejected in the 30th minute. RSL would level 6 minutes later and never looked back on the way to a 3-1 victory to mark the first win for RSL on their new home field, and securing the team’s first playoff berth in their short history.
  • 2018: With a 4-1 win over visiting New England Revolution, RSL solidified their hold on the final playoff spot moving 4 points ahead of LA Galaxy with one game to go. Rookie Corey Baird had a man-of-the-match performance having a role in 3 out of the 4 goals.