Primetime Preview: Rocky Mountain Cup Rivals Clash

Primetime Preview: Rocky Mountain Cup Rivals Clash

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On May 15, 2008
  • MLS Primetime Thursday

One of the more underrated rivalries in Major League Soccer kicks off their 2008 Cup tonight in MLS Primetime Thursday on ESPN2. The Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake square off in Commerce City for the first of three clashes this season.

One thing is clear and on the line tonight for both sides, a chance at first place in the western conference. Something this rivalry has yet to see it’s brief history.

Real won the season series for the first time last year and will hope to build on that effort this time around. One thing that stands in their way in the fact that this game is on the road. Sure this club knows how to play well in Colorado but so far this year they haven’t found their quality play outside of Salt Lake City. I think it is key for RSL to get on the boards early tonight.

I have a feeling though that this Colorado team will be hungry for another win after last week’s embarrassing loss in Houston. It was a game that they pretty much had until an errant handball on Ugo Ihemelu cost the Rapids points on the road.

I doubt this will be the prettiest game we’ve seen this season. Last year when these two faced on in Primetime, the game saw two own-goals in an ugly 1-1 draw. Now, I don’t see that kind of thing happening tonight, I do think it will be a pretty wild affair.

The biggest difference maker is who steps up more, Kyle Beckerman for RSL or Christian Gomez for Colorado. One of those two will win this game for their club but I like Gomez’s chances a little more than Beckerman’s. RSL felt a little lucky last week in their ugly win over Dallas that they may not come into this game with as much hunger as Colorado.

I like the Rapids in an ugly contest with a few goals. But a stumble by Fernando Clavijo’s club will easily mean people will start to talk more about his hot seat next week. Home losses to rivals typically bring out the best in hot seat discussion.

WVH Prediction: Colorado 3, RSL 2