MLS PREVIEW: Monday Night 'Rocky Mountain Cup'
By Ridge Mahoney
REAL SALT LAKE (0-1-2) vs. COLORADO (1-1-1)
(Monday, 9 pm ET, Direct Kick)
Real Salt Lake can't be as bad as it looked while being thumped, 4-0, by Chivas USA, yet it was also blanked in its last home game by Columbus (0-0) and needed a couple of goalmouth saves by Eddie Pope and Medhi Ballouchy to pitch its own shutout. Keeper Nick Rimando looked shaky against Chivas USA, but rookie goalkeepers - even one as talented as U.S. under-20 Chris Seitz - have not flourished in MLS, so a change might not necessarily be a good thing.
The Rapids have added striker Conor Casey and midfielder Jose Cancela to an attack already fairly potent with Nicolas Hernandez, Herculez Gomez, Jovan Kirovski and winger Terry Cooke. Gomez has scored twice and Cooke already has three assists.
Jeff Cunningham has scored both of RSL's goals and Andy Williams will be out at least a month because a high ankle sprain suffered from a foul by Chivas USA's Sacha Kljestan -- so Ballouchy, Freddy Adu and Chris Klein need to punch through the Rapids defense. Hernandez's goal decided the last match the teams played at Rice-Eccles, a 1-0 victory last September that also earned Colorado a 2-1-1 series victory and the Rocky Mountain Cup.
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