RSL dominate Rapids in Rocky Mountain duel

RSLCelebrates (Getty)

Real Salt Lake didn't show much sign of fatigue in playing their second game in four days on Saturday night, and much like Wednesday's shutout of Montreal, the RSL defense made sure Nick Rimando didn't have much to do.

Riding a first-half goal from Alvaro Saborio, and stingy defending that limited the Rapids to just one shot on goal, RSL cruised to a 2-0 victory over Colorado at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Saborio headed home a perfect Tony Beltran cross in the 20th minute to give RSL the lead. An insurance goal came in the second half when Espindola took down a long Luis Gil pass and slotted home a clean finish. His handling of the pass wasn't quite as clean, with replays showing a handball missed by referee Jair Marrufo.

Espindola's controversial insurance goal didn't matter much because Colorado never did come close to testing Rimando, though the Rapids did show more offensive life later in the match after the inclusion of rookie Tony Cascio.

Here are the match highlights:

RSL returns to action on Saturday against Sporting Kansas City in a showdown of first-place teams, while the Rapids face a tough test with a trip to Seattle.

What did you think of the match? Think RSL is the strongest team in MLS? Disappointed with Colorado's approach to the match?

Share your thoughts below.

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41 Responses to RSL dominate Rapids in Rocky Mountain duel

  1. Reid says:

    Wondering if Tony Cascio will a person in the same mold as Dempsey. Both have the same body type, both show a little more style then the rest of the pack (haven’t seen a colorado game yet just watched the past 3 seasons for Uconn) and both didnt recieve the spotlight that some of their piers had gotten.

  2. rph says:

    “Saborio headed home a perfect Tony Beltran cross in the 20th minute to give RSL the lead.”

    Really? Did you watch the game? I’m pretty sure he put that in with his foot.

  3. Real_ity says:

    Not sure when Sabo’s right foot became his head…

  4. Brad says:

    That 2nd goal was a pile crap. Should receive a fine from MLS. He defrauded the game the same way that a dive in the box does. Last 2 games in Salt Lake for the Rapids have ended up with goals they didn’t earn. (the stoppage time offside play that gave them a winner, for those who didn’t remember)

  5. Brad says:

    pile of crap to be clear

  6. Zac says:

    Who defrauded the game? Espindola or Marrufo? Either way, you can’t be serious. Espindola didn’t swat the ball down, it hit him in the hand; you really think he should be fined for continuing the play and finishing the goal?

  7. JRP says:

    Crapids fans are the worst. All 10 of you are crybabies.
    The ref sucked all around. It was a handball for sure. But is that the only call that was wrong? Would that have won you three points? Nope.
    You should have been playing with 9 on the pitch. Did you see what was almost a punch to the face?
    That ref sucked but it was not like the Rapids got the short end of the stick.

  8. JRP says:

    I wonder why it takes two days to get a post on this blog about the leagues best team? Most of the bigger markets get a same day game recap. This makes it two weeks in a row that RSL has to wait until Monday to be headlined here.
    I don’t want to be sounding the small-market alarm all the ti,e but you should step up coverage of the leagues best team.

    RSL Till I Die.

  9. Brad says:

    Yeah, Crapid fans are the worst. I can’t even imagine the uproar on this site from RSL fans if the Rapids were given 2 goals over 2 games we didn’t earn. (one was a game winner.) And if you are referring to Drew Moor for the “punch to the face” that would only reduce our number of players to 10 not 9. And I would give that red card in exchange for a hand ball call on the goal. (and maybe a yellow along with it)

  10. Tim says:

    It bugs me too. But part of it could be they are mostly east coast posters so the late games in the west are past their bed time and they are light staffed on Sunday so they get the work done Monday morning. The do seem to always have the LA Galtards posted every night though…

  11. Brad says:

    If you really think that Espindola didn’t do that on purpose… I would like to tell you about some great investments that just became available, but you better act now as you are the only one who knows about it.

  12. JRP says:

    The Crapids style of play is bullish. The Crapids don’t play the ball, they play to injure. Part of their attendance problem is the style they play. No one wants to watch thugs on the pitch. Rewatch the tackles and you will see there were multiple opportunities for multiple yellows on more than one player. Starting in the opening minutes.
    It was a handball. But it certainly wasn’t malicious. It was an accident. Call back the goal, the result is the same. It wasn’t the game winner.

  13. JRP says:

    Watch it is slow motion. It wasn’t on purpose. Even then, it wasn’t the game winner. It didn’t stop the Crapids from finding the net. Our D did that.
    If this was the game winner then I would listen to your crying and laugh. But since it wasn’t your crying is just annoying.

  14. xyz says:

    What is great about that play is watch the Colorado keeper…he has one hand up in the air to complain while the play is continuing–probably causing him to miss the save. Can’t play and ref at the same time, buddy–make your choice.

  15. Jason says:

    Not that it mattered, the Rapids were crap and weren’t going to win anyway. Maruffo was awful for both teams.

    That said, its funny to see JRP claiming “thuggish tactics” given that Salt Lake finished with twice as many fouls and more yellow cards than the Rapids. Salt Lake was also 3rd in the league in fouls committed last year, while the Rapids were next to last. They’re second this year, while Colorado is middle of the pack.


  16. JRP says:

    Exactly. It must kill the guys at to have to talk about RSL and SKC all the time when all they want to talk about are LA and NY. Kind of sad to see NY playing well cause they nearly deserve the coverage they are getting for the first time in three years.

  17. Mark says:

    Brad, sometimes the refs don’t get every call right, sometimes there is not a clear sight to see everything… THAT IS PART OF THE GAME!!! Sometimes you are going to get the calls sometimes you are not. As Sir Alex Furgeson once said, it all equals out in the end. So maybe Pitkins should have done what all kids are taught and play till you hear the whistle and that goal wouldn’t have rolled right past him… So the only true “pile of crap” is your complaining!!!

    Salt Lake Till I Die!!!

  18. Mark says:

    Pitkins job is to play KEEPER… He is not getting paid to REF… You are right he can’t do both… so he should have done what he is assigned to do and PLAY KEEPER!! If you think he should be doing both I have some stars I think you should invest in. You can even name them… like “cry baby” or “bitching”… Stop now… seriously!

  19. couchtoast says:

    First goal was offside.

    Second goal was result of handball.

    Again, not impressed with RSL.

    Also, what an inferiority complex RSL fans have! Sad.

  20. Tim says:

    First goal was not offside. Check the multiple views. On first glance it looks that way but he is onside. Cry about it.

  21. Mark says:

    And yes I intentionally mis-spelled Pitkins last name because the keeper doesn’t deserve my respect after complaining the way he did.. He cost the Crapids that goal!!!

  22. Brad says:

    That is such a bad argument, that is not even accurate. Colorado has always been around MLS averages for fouls committed. And the biggest thug on the pitch in that game was Olave. Yes it was a handball, and yes he did it on purpose. No, it was not the game winner, but a 1 goal lead gets us a chance to earn the draw.
    And don’t pretend to know anything about our attendance problems(which is not as bad as people think, btw) Your crappy State has 2 professional teams, TOTAL. (and we all know nobody cares about the NBA) Denver has EVERY professional sport, as well as every other form of entertainment. RSL basically has a monopoly in Utah, where the Rapids have to fight for every ounce of press etc….

  23. Brad says:

    Yeah…. and yet JRP will somehow miss this post…..

  24. JRP says:

    How can you be on top and have an inferiority complex? Do you understand the English language?
    Is the Denver school system that bad?

  25. jodasoel says:

    ives said it best in his twitter feed, “Rapids got wrong end of that blown handball call, but they might want to actually try playing tonight before anybody can really complain.”

  26. Chupacabra says:

    Joe Dirt hair + Austin Powers teeth = Velasquez

  27. SLR says:

    Yeah, even just watching the highlights would have shown you that much. Embarrassing.

  28. Mark says:

    Couchtoast… Haters gonna hate!!!

  29. Mark says:

    Velasquez + RSL = Rookie of the year! Didn’t know soccer was a beauty pagent…

  30. Mark says:

    Sorry XYZ that was meant for Brad..

  31. Chodilicus says:

    Brad, what are you talking about? Espindola tried to chest trap the ball, it hit his arm, and you think he should be fined because he kept playing? Are you mentally alright? How in the world is that trying to defraud the game? In no way is that similar to a dive.

    Seriously, you just need to stop typing because you are not doing Crapid fans any favors in your argument. Yes, it was a handball that the ref missed, but, in no way was it Espindola’s fault or poor sportsmanship.

  32. JRP says:

    Thanks for the laugh. I love the kid but you are right.

  33. Jake says:

    Mullan should have been tossed. Don’t blame RSL for your team playing half hearted.

  34. Georg says:

    RSL dominated the match and got the 3 points. Missed hand ball yes, off-sides not close, lots of whining from Colorado fans who have not beaten RSL in seven tries Priceless!!!

  35. RB says:

    “That said, its funny to see JRP claiming “thuggish tactics” given that Salt Lake finished with twice as many fouls and more yellow cards than the Rapids. Salt Lake was also 3rd in the league in fouls committed last year, while the Rapids were next to last. They’re second this year, while Colorado is middle of the pack.”

    This is the same endless mistake all sorts of people here continue to make. You’d think it would occur to them to check the real stats at some point and see if they in any way backed up their claims (rather than contradicted them).

  36. RB says:

    Well, there _was_ 2010 MLS Cup. That was a little tournament the Rapids won and RSL didn’t. And won not on PKs. And won not after going in with a sub-.500 record.

    You know.

  37. Shane says:

    The RSL Blue Bloods are the pride of The Rockies and the Rapids are a third rate football club. There is nothing major about KSES(Kronke Sports Entertainment Sucks.) The Rocky Mnt.Cup is not even a rivalry because as the saying goes “it takes two to tango.” One day The State of Colorado may wake up and figure out what The Rocky Mnt Cup is all about. No time soon though. Hell,they won the Anschutz Cup in 2010 and nobody and I mean nobody even gave a shout out. I know because I’m a highly frustrated 12 yr Colorado Rapids season ticket holder. I’ve been rooting for The Blue Bloods since Kreis became manager. RSL Blue Bloods forever!

  38. RB says:

    “One day The State of Colorado may wake up and figure out what The Rocky Mnt Cup is all about.”

    That was pretty much all cleared up in 2010 when RSL won it late in the season but the Rapids went on to win a different cup that same year. You may recall that, I don’t know.

  39. CMac says:

    They are second in fouls called this year because they have played more games than everyone but the impact.

  40. RB says:


    So they were 3rd in fouls committed last season because they played more games than 15 other teams? Interesting theory!

    And they were 4th in foul differential (committed – suffered) because… what, refs just always like their opponents better?

    Meanwhile, the “thug” Rapids were 17th of 18 teams in both categories, and again trail the supposedly finesse-minded RSL in them this year. RSL currently has a +10 FD while the Rapids have a –21.

    Again, try checking the real stats at some point. Or keep spouting nonsense. Your choice.