REAL SALT LAKE (4-13-8) vs. COLORADO (7-10-8)
Saturday, 9:30 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports en Espanol
RSL tied the Galaxy, 2-2, Wednesday despite missing the suspended Fabian Espindola and Matias Mantilla. Its third Argentine import, Javier Morales, curled in a free kick for a late equalizer three minutes after entering the game as a sub.
Squaring off head-to-head for the first time since they were traded for each other are midfielders Mehdi Ballouchy (Rapids) and Kyle Beckerman (RSL), which should some bite to their clashes.
Beckerman drilled a nice goal in a 2-1 loss to D.C. United Sept. 12 that was reminiscent of his seven-goal season last year.
Colorado holds the edge so far in the series, having won 2-0 in Utah April 30 and tied, 1-1, at home 10 days later. In the latter match, the teams traded own goals by Jack Stewart and Pablo Mastroeni.
Much has changed since then: Jason Kreis taking over as RSL head coach and his importation of the three Argentines, the Ballouchy-Beckerman trade and other swaps; Freddy Adu's excellent U-20 World Cup and departure for Portugal, etc. Heck, back then, David Beckham was healthy.
A Rapids win would clinch the Rocky Mountain Cup, break a three-game winless skid, and propel Colorado past Chicago and into eighth place in the overall standings, but with only two wins in 12 away matches, that seems a tall order.