MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Sunday, June 7 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports)

Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 1/1 – Draw 12/5 – Colorado Rapids 13/5

Match Preview

This Sunday night will see two of the biggest rivals in MLS square up against one another as Real Salt Lake welcome Colorado Rapids to Rio Tinto Stadium for the first Rocky Mountain Cup clash of the year.

Real Salt Lake sit in ninth in the Western Conference with 17 points and despite their low position, they are just two points off the playoff places.

RSL have lost their last two on the bounce coming into this game after suffering a 2-1 defeat against the Vancouver Whitecaps last week and falling 1-0 at the hands of LA Galaxy before that.

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Although their performances haven’t been great in those games, the performances of Javier Morales have been encouraging as he added his third of the season last weekend.

A win against their close rivals with results going their way will elevate them into the playoff places in a very congested Western Conference.

Colorado Rapids, like Real Salt Lake, have lost back-to-back games coming into this. A 1-0 defeat away at Seattle Sounders and a 2-1 home defeat to the Portland Timbers last weekend have left them at the bottom of the Western Conference.

Goals are still a problem for the Rapids as they have netted just 11 times in 13 games so far. The additions of Luc Solignac and Kevin Doyle should see more but neither has got off the mark yet.

Colorado have only won once away from home this season with that 4-0 victory over FC Dallas surprising many, but they’ll have their work cut out if they are to seal all three points on Sunday.

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RSL won the Rocky Mountain Cup after three wins last season, including a 5-1 victory in the most recent meeting back in September.

Team News

Real Salt Lake look set to be without Chris Schuler and Tony Beltran through injury, while Kyle Beckerman is on international duty with the USMNT along with Nick Rimando. Jordan Allen is also absent as he is with the US U20 squad in New Zealand.

Colorado Rapids look set to be without Marlon Hairston through injury, while Dillon Serna and Shane O’Neill are away on international duty.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake last five: W/L/W/L/L

Colorado Rapids last five: D/D/W/L/L

Key Stat: Real Salt Lake are unbeaten in their last 11 home games against the Colorado Rapids.

Key Player: Joao Plata – The Ecuadorian striker has recently come back from injury and Real Salt Lake need to focus on giving him the ball, as he knows how to find the back of the net.

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Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 3-1 Colorado Rapids – The Rocky Mountain Cup holders will prevail comfortably as the hosts will pull away from the Western Conference’s basement side in what should be an open and entertaining affair.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: FC Dallas vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer –  FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids 

Venue: Toyota Stadium – Friday, April 10th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: FC Dallas 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Colorado Rapids 4/1

Match Preview

FC Dallas entertain Colorado Rapids at Toyota Stadium in this week’s Friday night game as teams at opposite ends of the Western Conference go head-to-head.

FC Dallas have enjoyed a great start to the season, sitting second in the Supporters’ Shield standings on ten points from their opening five games. They have lost only once so far and have to fancy their chances of another three points at home in this one.

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By contrast, Colorado Rapids have drawn three of their first four games and need to get that important first win of the season to get them off the foot of the Western Conference.

Dallas suffered a disappointing loss to the Portland Timbers last weekend and will be keen to get back to winning ways after two without a win now. The draw against Seattle Sounders isn’t a bad result but given their opening three wins, Oscar Pareja will be hoping for better this time out.

The worrying thing for Rapids coach, Pablo Mastroeni, is that his side haven’t actually scored a goal this season and that needs to change quickly to avoid it becoming a mental issue for his players.

The Colorado head coach won’t be able to direct his players from the touchline in this one though as he will serve a one-game suspension for the red card he received last weekend.

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Blas Perez has an impressive three in his first four games and will hope he can add to his tally against a Rapids backline that didn’t look as solid in last week’s defeat to New England.

Dallas won all three of last season’s meetings against Colorado and have won their last four home games against the Rapids and everything is point towards that becoming five in a row on Friday.

Team News

FC Dallas have four injury concerns as Coy Craft, Stephen Keel, Dan Kennedy and Mauro Diaz could all be set to sit this one out. Dallas will be looking to their in-form forwards, Blas Perez, Fabian Castillo and Tesho Akindele to all continue to shine, having scored six between them so far this season.

Colorado Rapids could be without five as Carlos Alvarez, Drew Moor and Sam Cronin are all set to miss out through injury. Axel Sjoberg and Marc Burch are doubtful but will be pushing for a place in the squad. A goal from anywhere on the field is what the Rapids need, just to get off the mark for the season will be a huge relief.

Key Points

FC Dallas form: W/W/W/D/L

Colorado Rapids form: D/D/D/L

Key Stat: Goalless – The Rapids haven’t found the net in 10 hours of MLS action now and need to turn things around quickly after equalling a league record of 18 consecutive games without a win.

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Key Player: Blas Perez – The Dallas forward is in fine form and will surely continue his goalscoring form in this one.

Score Prediction

FC Dallas 3-1 Colorado Rapids – Rapids off the mark but not able to stop Dallas getting back to winning ways in what should be a largely one-sided affair.