Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake | 2017 MLS Match Preview

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Joao Plata - Real Salt Lake - Lifts Rocky Mountain Cup

USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake
2017 MLS Regular Season
Dick’s Sporting Good Park – Commerce City, Colo.
Sunday, Oct. 15 – 7:30 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE 

It’s been an uphill climb for Real Salt Lake over the last three months, and they’re almost to where they originally set their sights. But not quite.

Currently, RSL are seventh place in the Western Conference, just one point below the playoff line on 42 points. That means their Rocky Mountain rivalry match at Colorado on Sunday is also somewhere in the neighborhood of a do-or-die encounter with regard to their playoff hopes. Win, and they’ll most likely control their own destiny. Lose, and it’ll take some serious help from other results to make a playoff appearance.

Colorado, of course, have been out of the playoff race for some time, but have embraced the role of spoiler in recent weeks. They broke Impact hearts with a 2-1 win on September 30, then held FC Dallas – the team RSL’s trying to catch – to a 1-1 draw last Saturday. And surely there’s nothing they’d enjoy more than putting their hated rival’s season to the sword in the final match of the season in Commerce City.

Colorado Rapids

  • Suspended: D Jared Watts
  • Suspended after next caution: D Mekeil Williams, M Micheal Azira
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE – M Micheal Azira (ankle injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Tim Howard â€“ Marlon Hairston, Kortne Ford, Axel Sjoberg, Eric Miller – Mohammed Saeid, Bismark Boateng – Josh Gatt, Stefan Aigner, Dominque Badji – Alan Gordon

Notes: Colorado has only won once in their last six league home games (3L-2D), and have scored multiple goals in only two of those six matches (seven total). â€¦ Josh Gatt’s assist against Dallas snapped a 10-game streak of MLS appearances without an assist. Gatt now has three assists in 16 appearances this year.

Real Salt Lake

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M Stephen Sunday, D Chris Schuler
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT – F Chad Barrett (knee surgery, 4-6 months), M Jordan Allen (knee surgery 6/30, 6-7 months), M Omar Holness (knee surgery 7/18, out 8-12 months), M – Ricardo Velazco (ankle surgery 7/13, out 4 months); QUESTIONABLE – D Demar Phillips (hamstring injury), M Jefferson Savarino (ankle injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Nick Rimando – Tony Beltran, Marcelo Silva, Justen Glad, Danny Acosta – Kyle Beckerman, Luke Mulholland – Brooks Lennon, Albert Rusnak, Joao Plata – Luis Silva

Notes: Real Salt Lake has only lost once in their last six matches (4W-1D) and have outscored their opponents 15-6 across those matches. â€¦ Real Salt Lake have conceded 12 goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches this year, the most of any MLS team.

All-Time Series

The Claret-and-Cobalt have a clear edge in the series, with a 17-12-10 all-time record, including 2-0-0 this year (a 2-1 win at Colorado back in April, and then 4-1 in Utah this summer). That means they’ve already clinched this season’s edition of the Rocky Mountain Cup, the ninth time in the 13 years it’s been awarded.

  • Overall: Colorado 12 wins (37 goals) … RSL 17 wins (49 goals) … Ties 10
  • At COL: Colorado 9 wins (24 goals) … RSL 5 win (18 goals) … Ties 1

Referees

Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, Mike Kampmeinert
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Rosendo Mendoza

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