Match Report: Real Salt Lake 0-5 Colorado Rapids

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Records were shattered on an historic night for the Colorado Rapids as they walked into Rio Tinto Stadium without a win in seven, and marched out with the Rocky Mountain Cup, writes Richard Fleming.

Goals from Diego Rubio (2), Sam Vines, Braian Galvan, and Cole Bassett gave the Rapids a remarkable and unforgettable 5-0 win at Real Salt Lake, inside a venue where they had never won in 16 previous attempts.

Two-goal hero Rubio beamed afterwards: “Today, I think it was an amazing game from us. I think we have been doing this the last three games, but we didn’t score the goals and today the first half was very good.

“We were reminded that in the second half, we fall down a little bit, but today we said that cannot happen. Showing that in the result we scored three more goals. It’s amazing doing that, especially here.”

Here are a number of statistics to highlight the magnitude of this victory.

  • Since last lifting the Rocky Mountain Cup in 2015, the Rapids had gone 2-10-1 against RSL.
  • Their last win in Utah came on April 30, 2007 when goals from Roberto Brown and Kyle Beckerman gave the Rapids a 2-0 victory at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
  • RSL has played at Rio Tinto Stadium since 2009. The Rapids’ record there was 0-11-5.
  • No Rapids player had ever scored more than one goal in a game against Real Salt Lake.
  • When Dillon Serna scored in the 88th minute at Rio Tinto Stadium on July 21, 2018 for a 2-2 tie, it was the first time the Rapids had scored more than one goal in a game in Utah since their victory at Rice-Eccles 11 years earlier.
  • The Colorado Rapids were without a win in the previous seven meetings with Real Salt Lake (0-6-1) and had been outscored 22-5 in the process.
  • The Rapids were the only MLS team without a shutout this season heading into this game.
  • The Rapids had only once scored more than two goals in a game against RSL, when defeating them 3-1 at DSGP in 2015, a result which would ensure the return of the Rocky Mountain Cup.

In scoring twice inside the opening 10 minutes, Rubio bagged his first goals of 2020. He also became the first Rapids player to score more than one goal in a game against Real Salt Lake.

His first followed a Jack Price corner inside three minutes, which was misjudged by RSL goalkeeper Andrew Putna, allowing the ball to find Rubio in the center of the goal to head the opener.

Poor marking from Justen Glad gave Rubio the space he needed seven minutes later to fire in from 20-yards, a lead the Rapids would take into the break. It may have been a more healthy advantage had Putna not been at full stretch to deny both Kellyn Acosta and Younes Namli.

The bombardment continued after the interval. Wonderful individual work from Namli on the right took him past Donny Toia, and his low cross was met by the incoming Vines for his first goal in Major League Soccer.

On 54 minutes, Namli made way for Galvan, who scored his first goal in MLS a minute later with his first touch. Galvan was then punched on the back of the head in an off-the-ball incident by substitute Douglas Martinez, who was sent off by referee Ramy Touchan after going to the video review monitor.

Galvan ought to have made it 5-0, but his close-range effort came back off the inside of the post with an open goal at his mercy.

The Rapids, though, did add a fifth and secured the return of the Rocky Mountain Cup after excellent work from rookie defender Jeremy Kelly two minutes from time. He carried the ball 40 yards, skipped around three RSL players, and laid off the perfect square ball to Bassett who capped the perfect night.


Real Salt Lake: Andrew Putna; Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad (Erik Holt 73’), Nedum Onuoha, Donny Toia; Everton Luiz (Pablo Ruiz 56’), Damir Kreilach; Maikel Chang (Jeizon Ramírez 81’), Albert Rusnak, Justin Meram (Douglas Martinez HT); Corey Baird (Sam Johnson 73’).
Subs not used: Zac MacMath, Kyle Beckerman, Nick Besler, Milan Iloski.

Colorado Rapids: William Yarbrough; Keegan Rosenberry (Jeremy Kelly 65’), Lalas Abubakar, Danny Wilson, Sam Vines; Younes Namli (Braian Galvan 54’), Kellyn Acosta (Collen Warner 77’), Jack Price, Cole Bassett, Andre Shinyashiki (Nicolas Mezquida 77’); Diego Rubio (Jonathan Lewis 65’).
Subs not used: Clint Irwin, Drew Moor, Auston Trusty, Kei Kamara.