Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids (Major League Soccer—week 5)

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  • Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids (Major League Soccer—week 5)

Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids (Major League Soccer—week 5)

The most enthralling match of Major League Soccer is on the horizon. Real Salt Lake hosts reigning MLS champions Colorado Rapids in the week 5 scrimmage at Rio Tinto. Both the teams are in the top form to take on each other and finally after a period of over thirteen months, RSL’s stadium will be put to a tough test on Wednesday, April 13.

Lakers come back to the league after securing first ever MLS berth in CONCACAF Champions League. The team prides itself thrashing CD Saprissa in the semi-finals with a 3—2 aggregate becoming the first MLS team to march to the finals on the continental front. Right after their CCL scrimmage, the Royals ran through New England Revolution with two goals against nil keeping a zero in the column of Lost.

Although, the Rapids have lost the last match against FC Dallas—2010 MLS Cup Finalists—on a final score line reading,3—0, the drubbing did not assert any extra pressure on the team. However, playing at Rio Tinto has already become a special occasion for MLS teams. None in the last 13 months have named a single win.

Both Western Conference teams are in neck-on-neck competition with each other. RSL sit atop the table with nine points in four matches followed by the champs also with nine points in five matches.

Real Salt Lake

Jason Kreis has taken the team to a whole another level in the past two years since he took over the reins of the outfit. Even though, the team could not make it to the final of the MLS Cup, they were second to Los Angeles in both Western Conference and overall MLS standings.

The coach sticks to the traditional 4-4-2 formation with Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola upfront. The Columbian-Argentinean duo has been exemplary in both, American league and CCL. Both had their share of goals on the CCL front especially Saborio’s score in the home leg of the semi-finals proved to be a decider in the run of time.

Playmakers, Javier Morales and Andy Williams have proved to be the spark, the club needed in the league. In addition to assisting the forwards, the players found the net in the MLS scrimmage against Los Angeles Galaxy. The reigning Western Conference champions were drubbed with a whopping four goals against a single one from their side.

Colorado Rapids

Although, the team is enjoying the best of its days since last season, the RSL match might be one of the toughest, this time around. On the top of all worries, the match is staged at RSL’s home ground that itself has become more of a challenge.

This will be Rapids’ second consecutive away match and the team comes on the back of a loss from fellow MLS Cup finalists, FCD. Ugo Ihemelu’s first goal opened the plethora of scores putting the visitors in a frizzle.

The match went physical in the run of play, exactly the way Schellas Hyndman wanted. Rapids played in the hands of hosts for the whole 90 minutes. However, Gary Smith will not expect the same feat repeated from his boys, this time. More is expected from the frontline comprised of Sanna Nyassi, Pablo Mastroeni, Quincy Amarikwa and Caleb Folan.

What happens at Rio Tinto is anybody’s guess. Only the time will tell whether the stadium keeps the streak running or Rapids become the first team to name a game in over 30 matches at the site.

Following are Kreis and Hyndman’s line-ups, respectively.

Real Salt Lake

Nick Rimando, Chris Wingert, Tony Beltran, Robbie Russell, Nat Borchers, Kyle Beckerman, Javier Morales,  Andy Williams, Will Johnson, Álvaro Saborío, Paulo Araujo Jr.

Colorado Rapids

Matt Pickens, Kosuke Kimura, Anthony Wallace, Marvell Wynne, Drew Moor, Jeff Larentowicz, Jamie Smith, Sanna Nyassi, Pablo Mastroeni, Quincy Amarikwa, Caleb Folan

Prediction

Real Salt Lake are in its full health with all hands aboard. However, the Rapids will not lag behind the CCL finalists owing much to the performance so far but the home ground advantage will certainly go in RSL’s favour. Therefore, considering all the circumstances, the predicted score line is 3—2, to Claret and Cobalt’s side.

 

 

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