A scored draw
Colorado Rapids take on Real Salt Lake at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park only for the second time in MLS history. The two sides first met in August last year, and the home side won 2-1.
Salt Lake have won both their home games against the Rapids and are yet to win away from home. Their wait is expected to continue, but a home win is not guaranteed as well.
A draw could very likely be the outcome of this week’s game, as both sides are in similar form. The game is not expected to be goalless, but not one filled with a lot of goals either.
This could be a cagey affair, with both teams focusing on core stability rather than expansive attacking patterns. A low scoring draw is predicted between these two teams.
Colorado Rapids did not manage to hit the ground running this season and were comfortably beaten by Los Angeles FC on the opening weekend. Carlos Vela scored a hat trick to single-handedly beat Robin Fraser’s side, which worked like a wake-up call for him.
The manager was quick to tweak his tactics, and the changes worked out. Rapids won their first game at home – a 3-0 win over Atlanta United. Diego Rubio, Jonathan Lewis, and Andre Shinyashiki got on the scoresheet for the home side and had put the opening day loss behind them, the red card Atlanta United picked up not really affecting a foregone result in the 86th minute.
They welcomed Sporting Kansas City in the third game week, and once again, it was Rubio who opened the scoring. Mark-Anthony Kaye scored minutes after the break to make it 2-0, and Fraser’s side held on to win the game easily from there.
It was familiar faces leading the way for them again, with Kaye the hero for the Rapids when they traveled to face Houston Dynamo in their last game in March. The midfielder scored just before half time and handed his side a much needed lead going into the break.
The goal meant the Rapids sat back deep in their half and tried to defend their lead, but that proved to be costly in the end. They attacked just twice in the entire half and could not get another goal to give themselves some breathing space.
Houston were rewarded for their constant pressure as Tyler Pasher scored in the final minute of the 90 to get the home side a point from the game. The Rapids would have been sitting 4th in the league table right now if not for that goal. But they’ve still had a pretty solid start to the season and are not an easy team to break down. We don’t see too many games in their future where they will be trailing by big margins.
Just like Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake were also held to a draw by Houston Dynamo, except it was the start of their 2022 season.
The Utah side faced Die Oranje on the opening weekend, and the two sides could not get a breakthrough. The game ended goalless despite the home side dominating and Salt Lake finding it hard to get shots on target.
Pablo Mastroeni’s side were up against the Seattle Sounders in their first home game of the season and did not disappoint their fans, in terms of the result they eventually picked up. Although they only managed to get a 1-0 win in the books, their domination did not reflect in the scoreline.
Bobby Wood scored the lone goal of the game seconds after the second half kicked off. The striker managed to get a second bite of the cherry after an opponent blocked his initial shot and found success with that attempt. The home side took 16 shots at goal in the game, but only six were on target.
It was a different story in their match at New England Revolution as Salt Lake were 2-0 behind after the hour mark. They could not get behind the defense in the early parts of the and the second goal tey conceded ended up being a blessing in disguise.
New England started to sit back after that goal to try and defend their lead instead of going for the kill and getting another goal. Sergio Córdova pulled one back for Salt Lake with 12 minutes to go in the game before Justen Glad equalized in the 88th minute.
The momentum had shifted, and Salt Lake looked favorites to seal the win in injury time. Tate Schmitt popped up in the box and scored in the 93rd minute to seal a dramatic comeback win for Salt Lake, with New England left wondering why they had tried to switch around their tactics as much as they had.
Salt Lake’s winning run continued on matchday 4 as they beat Nashville SC 2-1. Bobby Wood opened the scoring in the second minute of the game before Walker Zimmerman notched one back for the away side. Tate Schmitt was once again the hero for Pablo Mastroeni’s side as he scored within 10 minutes of the restart. The goal was enough for them to hang on to the lead and those three points saw them move further up the table.
Mastroeni’s side were full of confidence now but were handed a reality check by Sporting Kansas City last weekend. In one of the three matches during the international break, the Kansas side managed to score late in the game via Johnny Russell to seal a 1-0 win and end Salt Lake’s unbeaten start
However, they continue sitting in second place in the Western Conference and look great value for a playoffs qualification later in the season.
|Colorado Rapids vs Real Salt Lake Information|
|Teams||Colorado Rapids vs Real Salt Lake|
|Time||Saturday, April 2 at 9pm EST|
|How to watch||MLS LIVE on ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN, Altitude TV, KMYU|
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Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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