10 Shot – 2013 MLS Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids – Rocky Mountain Cup

Wow.  What a match!  First, I was kind of ticked by local news stating that the Rapids HAD to win this game to win the Rocky Mountain Cup back from Real Salt Lake.  That was not true.  Early in the season the Rapids visited Salt Lake City and came home with a tie.  Then, they took a 1-0 win at home, giving them a 1-0-1 record while Real Salt Lake had a 0-1-1 record.  While a win would give the Rapids a 2-0-1 record, all they needed to do was tie the game to reclaim the Rocky Mountain Cup.  However, leading up to the game, all the local television news was reporting was that the Rapids just had to win to claim the cup.  Maybe if they sent reporters to the games they would know.

I headed to the stadium early to avoid traffic.  The Denver Broncos were having a scrimmage at Sports Authority about the same time as the Rapids game, so I figured traffic would be tough later.  I got to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to find it surrounded by dust storms.  While I was up in the media room, the media room door to the outside seating blew open.  Looking at the flags, they were blowing every which way, and hard.  Soon after the door blew open, we went under a tornado watch.  Great.  Thankfully, before game time the winds died down some.

The game started, and within the first two minutes Real Salt Lake scored the first goal to take a 1-0 advantage.  The Rapids were able to tie it up, then things got real interesting.  There is no love loss between these two teams.  It was a rough game, but in the 21st minute, a penalty in the box started the craziness.  The ball was being set for a Real Salt Lake penalty kick, but then the teams headed off the field.  Lighting had struck within 6 miles of the stadium, so we were looking at a 30 minute delay.  The 30 minute delay would be reset if another strike happened, and we ended up with a 62 minute delay before the teams got back on the field for the penalty kick and the rest of the first half.

Real Salt Lake scored the go ahead goal on that penalty kick and took a 2-1 lead into halftime.  By this time it was pouring buckets onto the pitch and that would continue until about half way through the second half.  It was looking bleak for the Rapids as the clock kept going.  Real Salt Lake would retain the Rocky Mountain Cup with only a win.  While a tie would bring the cup back to Colorado, a win would not only give the cup to the Rapids, but also first place in the Western Conference.  Jamie Castrillon nailed a header in the 70th minute to tie the game up, and that is where it would end up.  The Rapids now hold the Rocky Mountain Cup, but stay in second place behind Real Salt Lake.

I was really hoping to get a few great shots of Real Salt Lake and USMNT player Kyle Beckerman, but he just was not in my area for any real good shots.  And speaking of shots, here they are.

Yes, I was thinking with the wind and these clouds that maybe I should go home and hide in the closet.

August 3rd, 2013 - Ominous clouds roll in over the pitch as the teams warm up prior to the start of the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

August 3rd, 2013 – Ominous clouds roll in over the pitch as the teams warm up prior to the start of the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

As rough as this game was, there were not a lot of battles in front of me, which was kind of a bummer.

August 3rd, 2013 - Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil (21) pushes his way past Colorado Rapids defender German Mera (33) in the first half of action in the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

August 3rd, 2013 – Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil (21) pushes his way past Colorado Rapids defender German Mera (33) in the first half of action in the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

But there were a few, and a lot of no calls by the officials.  There were 3 Yellow cards issued in the game, but there could have been a lot, LOT more.

August 3rd, 2013 - Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy (20) attempts to keep control of the ball from Colorado Rapids midfielder Nathan Sturgis (24) in the first half of action in the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

August 3rd, 2013 – Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy (20) attempts to keep control of the ball from Colorado Rapids midfielder Nathan Sturgis (24) in the first half of action in the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

This next shot kind of goes against all the rules of sport photography.  Backs of both players, but this was the last play prior to the 62 minute lightning delay, and would lead to Real Salt Lake taking a 2-1 lead over the Rapids.

August 3rd, 2013 - Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor (3) fouls Real Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley (10) in the penalty area right before a first half lightning delay in the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

August 3rd, 2013 – Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor (3) fouls Real Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley (10) in the penalty area right before a first half lightning delay in the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

And then the rains came, and came hard.

August 3rd, 2013 - Rain drenched fans cheer after the players take the field to complete the first half after a 62 minute lightning delay duringthe Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

August 3rd, 2013 – Rain drenched fans cheer after the players take the field to complete the first half after a 62 minute lightning delay duringthe Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

Did I mention it rained hard?

August 3rd, 2013 - Colorado Rapids forward Deshorn Brown (26) chases after the ball in the first half of action in the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

August 3rd, 2013 – Colorado Rapids forward Deshorn Brown (26) chases after the ball in the first half of action in the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

Real hard.

August 3rd, 2013 - Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor (3) heads the ball back to his goalkeeper in the first half of the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

August 3rd, 2013 – Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor (3) heads the ball back to his goalkeeper in the first half of the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

But, the rains did not last too long, but the rough play continued to the end of the game.

August 3rd, 2013 - Colorado Rapids midfielder Tony Cascio (14) takes a hard tackle from Real Salt Lake midfielder Lovel Palmer (7) in second half action of the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

August 3rd, 2013 – Colorado Rapids midfielder Tony Cascio (14) takes a hard tackle from Real Salt Lake midfielder Lovel Palmer (7) in second half action of the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

This WAS a Rapids goal.  The ball broke the plane, but both officials were either blocked or out of position and Rimando got very lucky.  Hey, when you are the USMNT goalie and just won the CONCACAF Gold Cup, I guess you get the benefit of doubt when it comes to close plays.

August 3rd, 2013 - Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando (18) makes a save in the second half of action in the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

August 3rd, 2013 – Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando (18) makes a save in the second half of action in the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

But it did not matter after Castrillon scored the game tying goal and brought the Rocky Mountain Cup home to Colorado.

August 3rd, 2013 - Colorado Rapids midfielder Jaime Castrillon (23) celebrates his first goal of the season that tied the game 2-2 in the second half of the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

August 3rd, 2013 – Colorado Rapids midfielder Jaime Castrillon (23) celebrates his first goal of the season that tied the game 2-2 in the second half of the Major League Soccer match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO

All of these photos are available for MEDIA USE ONLY through Corbis Images, NewSport, or in my Archive.  These images are copyrighted and you must purchase them to use them for print or web.  Any images lifted off of this website for use in print or another website or digital use without permission may be subject to legal and financial ramifications.

Share Button

Comments are closed.