Simply put, these two sides are almost always entertaining. It’s rough and physical, with more than a little bad blood between the sides and the fans. Colorado even gets extra security to protect its team bus.
Colorado is rebuilding and has not looked good thus far this season. Salt Lake earned a surprising road win in San Jose and fought D.C. United tough before losing on a bizarre goal.
Still, as in virtually every rivalry in the world, anything can happen when these two teams get together.
RSL Keys to the Match
Avoid Defensive Mistakes – The Colorado attack is rebuilding following the high profile departures of Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. What they lack in cohesiveness and talent, they will make up for in hustle. Salt Lake’s young back line just got even less experienced as Abdoulie Mansally (previous known as “Kenny”) has been suspended for the match. Salt Lake’s back line will need to be on its game if it wants to keep a clean sheet.
Creates Chances From Midfield – The Salt Lake midfield has played decently, but it needs to do more to create chances to score. Robbie Findley and Joao Plata have provided a speedy attack element, but shots created by the midfield are Salt Lake’s bread and butter. They need more of it if they want to win.
Get an Early Goal – Salt Lake’s inability to score is still lingering from last season. Colorado will almost certainly come to defend and do little else. If Salt Lake can get on the board early, the side will eliminate the inevitable stalling, pack-it-in style defense that it has typically struggled to break down. If the match remains scoreless for long, these tactics will just get worse. Salt Lake needs an early goal to open up the match and force Colorado to play soccer.
- GK – Rimando
- DF – Palmer, Schuler, Watson-Siriboe, Beltran
- MF – Beckerman, Stephenson, Gil, Grabavoy
- FW – Saborio, Findley
Grabavoy’s Return – Ned has been away from the side on a family matter since just before the season opener; however, he returned this week and will likely earn a starting spot. The playmaking ability he brings from the midfield is critical for Salt Lake. If he is in full form, Grabavoy could be the difference.
Officiating – RSL has drawn a relatively young officiating crew for Saturday’s match, with a young center official and a young 4th official (who does quite a bit to keep things under control). This match has the potential to get ugly if the referee loses control.