Despite Real Salt Lake’s run to the team’s second MLS Cup final, the Western Conference champions lost their regional rivalry’s trophy in 2013. On Saturday, however, the team that saw its six-year-run as Rocky Mountain Cup winners come to an end took the first step toward regaining its title, with only late consolation bringing the Colorado Rapids to within 2-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL opened the scoring when a movement from right-to-left caught Colorado too narrow on the far side. Javier Morales fed João Plata into the left of the area, setting up the Ecuadorian for the home side’s 23rd minute opener.
Just after halftime, a foul in the penalty area by Drew Moor allowed Javier Morales to score his fourth goal in two games. Colorado pulled the goal back late through Moor’s close range header but went the final 14 minutes without a shot on target. Prolonging its rivals’ recent slump, RSL improved to 6-0-5 on the season, remaining the only undefeated team in Major League Soccer.
In the absence of Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman, and Álvaro Saborío, it was a convincing performance by one of the league’s teams hit hardest by World Cup call ups. Granted, Colorado ended up putting more shots on target, but the Rapids didn’t test Jeff Attinella until two minutes into first half stoppage time. The rest of the team’s chances came with the score 2-0. RSL may have been limited to four tests of Clint Irwin, but the team maintained a degree of control.
That they were able to do so without three key cogs has to be a concern for Colorado. Unlike RSL, the Rapids are without World Cup absences, yet they were unable to replicate last year’s success against their Rocky Mountain rivals. After three straight poor performances, the Rapids look like they’re over their early bounce and are in need of a new solution, particularly going forward.
Heading into the their final UEFA Champions League Group B game, Manchester United hold their destiny in their own hands, but any slip-up could mean it’s Europa League on Thursday nights for Louis Van Gaal‘s men.
[ MORE: Champions League standings ]
The Red Devils would have advanced to the knockout stage with a victory over third-place PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, but slumped to an ugly 0-0 draw instead.
[ MORE: Three things we learned from Man United 0-0 PSV ]
So, here’s all of the scenarios for the final matchday of the group stage, away to Wolfsburg, in which United would advance to the round of 16 advance:
- A Man United win will see Man United finish top of Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV draw or loss (vs. CSKA Moscow), will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United draw, coupled with a PSV victory, will see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV loss, will see Man United finish second in Group B
- A Man United loss by more than one goal, coupled with a PSV draw, would see Man United finish third in Group B
- A Man United loss, coupled with a PSV win, would see Man United finish third in Group B
[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]
There are your scenarios for Man United as it’s pretty simple to break it down: Win, and they go through. Fail to win, and their fate is completely in the hands of PSV.
The Foxes are top of the Premier League and are led by a surging Jamie Vardy but how long can they keep shocking the world?
With six tough games coming up between now and the start of 2016, Claudio Ranieri‘s men will be pushed to their limit but so far this season they’ve been sensational and Vardy has equaled Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record of scoring in 10-straight PL games.
[ MORE: Full PST Extra archive ]
Can he make it 11 in a row on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via Live Extra) when United visit the King Power Stadium? As for the Red Devils, they sit in second place and are just one point behind the flying Foxes’. Louis Van Gaal‘s men have certainly flown under the radar so far and our churning out wins at an impressive rate.
Jenna Corrado and I discuss that and more in the latest edition of PST Extra. Click play on the video above to see our chat in full.
Rog and Davo revel in another chapter of the Leicester City fairytale, break down Liverpool’s shock dismantling of Manchester City and discuss Arsenal’s slip against West Brom.
Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.
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Joe Hart was forced to leave Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Juventus in UEFA Champions League play on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury, which he seemed to incur while making a spectacular one-on-one kick-save late in the second half.
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Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed after the game that Hart’s injury is indeed a hamstring issue, and went on to say that he would need further tests once the team arrives back in Manchester to determine the severity and how long, if at all, City and England’s no. 1 would be out of action.
Man City, currently third in the Premier League on 26 points, will host eighth-place Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).