One game in 100 words: The Colorado Rapids scored the first goal, but after that, this match was marked by the pure domination of Real Salt Lake on both sides of the ball, offensively and defensively. And Salt Lake’s advantage was established early in the contest, as they already accumulated four goals before the half, so unless Colorado completely changed their effort and Real Salt Lake relaxed (which they didn’t until the end of the whistle), the back-and-forth action noticed in an exciting MLS games wasn’t present. One man in particular that struggled was Rapids goalkeeper Joe Nasco, unable to handle several threatening attacks from the Royals. Real Salt Lake is now within two points of the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference’s second place, while the Rapids will stay put in 7th place, with the San Jose Earthquakes breathing down their neck.
Real Salt Lake: Joao Plata 32’, Javier Morales 33’, Chris Schuler 37’, Joe Nasco 45’ (OG), Carlos Salcedo 63’
Colorado Rapids: Jose Mari 32’
Three moments that mattered:
37’ — Nasco lets one go for the two-goal advantage — This specific goal was significant because this sequence is usually a routine play, where the goalkeeper corrals a free kick that’s curled into his hands. Unfortunately, Joe Nasco made a blatant mistake that single handedly cost his squad the goal. He failed to catch the set piece attempt and spilled a rebound right to Chris Schuler, who was there for the easy finish to increase their advantage prior to halftime.
45’ — Three-goal lead before halftime — Real Salt Lake totaled their fourth goal of the game and established a three-goal lead right before the half, which threw the Rapids into an increasingly deep hole. The score itself was the product of great buildup, and Nasco essentially sitting helpless in front of the net, as the close-range endeavor bounced off his body for the goal.
63’ — Salcedo capitalizes off Nasco mistake — Carlos Salcedo didn’t necessarily do anything crafty to covert the final goal of the game. In fact, Nasco was the true culprit for putting Salcedo in position to score when the goalie charged off his line to snag a corner kick and then dropped it, leaving a wide-open net. Salcedo then navigated his shot past a few players, and Real Salt Lake had basically sealed the win.
Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Carlos Salcedo, Chris Schuler (Aaron Maund HF), Chris Wingert; Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy (Luis Gil 83’), Luke Mulholland, Javier Morales; Sebastian Jaime (Robbie Findley 70’), Joao Plata
Colorado: Joe Nasco; Marvell Wynne, Thomas Piermayr, Shane O’Neill, Marc Burch; Kamani Hill (Marlon Hairston HT), Jose Mari, Dillon Serna, Carlos Alvarez (Grant Van de Casteele 82’); Gabriel Torres, Deshorn Brown (Charles Eloundou 82’)