Preview: Rapids come to Salt Lake to challenge for the RMC

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Photo Credit: smackdowntay (smackdowntay.blogspot.com)

There’s been a lot of hype leading up to tonight’s Rocky Mountain showdown.  Let me tell you, I’ve got some RMC fever of my own right now!  But this article is about the game itself with its dramatic twists and turns that will shape out the eventual winner of the first leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup.

This game comes at sort of an awkward stretch for Real.  The claret and cobalt are playing their third game in a rather crucial beginning-of-the-season eight day stretch.  RSL are coming off of a glorious late comeback against a strong attacking side after suffering a devastating 1-0 home loss to Chivas, and then returning to the RioT to squeeze past expansion team Montreal with a one goal win.

Real Salt Lake’s play has definitely not been stellar.  But signs of an end to underachievement seem to show that tonight could be the night that RSL come’s in blasting.

Colorado is in somewhat of a different ship.  The Rapids, like RSL, came off to a blazing start to begin the 2012 MLS season.  They were doing great, creating lots of scoring chances, until they were blown out 4-1 at Red Bull Arena by New York, who hadn’t won a game until then.  The Rapids returned to their home to defeat Chicago 3-1.  Talk about bouncing back!

Now they’re traveling to the famed and feared fortress of Rio Tinto, one of the hardest venues to play at in MLS (according to defender Nat Borchers and MLS coaches in general according to MLSsoccer.com).

Real suffered to lightning fast injuries against Montreal.  Midfield stalwart Ned Grabavoy dislocated a rib from the impact of a collision and Javi Morales suffered a hamstring strain.  (Why can’t he just stay healthy!?)  At first, the news of who’d be missing was a blow to the RSL community, but recent news from the training ground of our second-string players performing exceptionably has given confidence to concerned fans.

But RSL should be starting a very strong, almost starting XI, lineup.  Expect Luis Gil to slot into Javi’s attacking midfield position, and don’t be surprised if young gun Sebastian Velasquez gets another start for the claret and cobalt clad on the wing in for Grabavoy.

As always, make sure to get yourself down to the RioT early for this one!  Our team’s going to need our support!

(Also make sure to print off this card: http://www.realsaltlake.com/sites/saltlake/files/Racism-Red-Card.png, its to be held up after the national anthem to support getting rid of racism in soccer.)

LET’S GO REAL!!!

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