2013 MLS Real Salt Lake at Colorado Rapids – Game 2 of Rocky Mountain Cup

My 4th soccer game in 4 days graduated from high school girls games to the Colorado Rapids and a game against their Rocky Mountain rivals, Real Salt Lake.  I got to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City a little early.  It was overcast, but I wanted to attempt something.  The photo bellow is not exactly what I wanted, but it is a composite of 10 photos.  Before each game, giant flags are unveiled on the field, and on a day when the sun is out with nice white puffy clouds, I want to get a nice panorama of the stadium from the center of the field.  So this was just a trial and a teaser.

April 6th, 2013 Commerce City, CO - in action during the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

April 6th, 2013 Commerce City, CO – in action during the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

So, thankfully the irate, drunk fan from last week was not back and I set up in the location I wanted to shoot from for the game.  I enjoy it when Portland comes, since I use to live in Vancouver, Washington, and I am looking forward to my first Sounders game after spending 20 years in Seattle, last years LA Galaxy game was great with Beckham and Donovan, but there is something about the Real Salt Lake games.  Being the Rapids rival, everyone is up for these games.

April 6th, 2013 - Edson the Eagle, a mascot for  the Colorado Rapids prior to the start of action in the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

April 6th, 2013 – Edson the Eagle, a mascot for the Colorado Rapids prior to the start of action in the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

Even Edson the Eagle was in full fledged Rocky Mountain Cup form for the game.  The Rapids were on the offense for most of the first half, and on a rebound, Atiba Harris grabbed the first goal of the match for the Rapids giving the home team a 1-0 lead.

April 6th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids midfielder Atiba Harris (16) attempts to get past Real Salt Lake defender Abdoulie Mansally (29) in the first half of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

April 6th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids midfielder Atiba Harris (16) attempts to get past Real Salt Lake defender Abdoulie Mansally (29) in the first half of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

After shooting on pitches that have not had a lot of water yet, it was really nice to see real green grass.  And the Rapids shed their normal Burgundy uniforms for their new alternate blue uniforms.  I really like the blue uniforms, and contrasting with Real Salt Lakes Red, and the green of the grass, it was a very nice night to shoot.

April 6th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan (11) makes a move past the Real Salt Lake defense in first half action of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

April 6th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan (11) makes a move past the Real Salt Lake defense in first half action of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

Still in the second, Real Salt Lake had a golden opportunity to tie the game up.  They were awarded a penalty kick which is typically a automatic goal, but third string rookie goalkeeper Clint Irwin made a incredible gamble and dove right towards where the kick went and knocked the ball away, preserving the Rapids 1-0 lead.

April 6th, 2013 - Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales (11) heads the ball as he makes a run down the pitch in the second half of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

April 6th, 2013 – Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales (11) heads the ball as he makes a run down the pitch in the second half of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

Even with the Rapids in the lead, Real Salt Lake was playing some good soccer and provided some great photo opportunities.  My favorite shot from the match has to be the one above of Javier Morales heading the ball.

April 6th, 2013 - Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales (11) makes an attack in second half action of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

April 6th, 2013 – Real Salt Lake midfielder Javier Morales (11) makes an attack in second half action of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

Morales offered quite a few photo opportunities, including the shot above which was my second favorite from the game.  With the Rapids in the lead and about 15 minute left in the first half, I headed up to the media room to edit and transmit about 15 photos from the first half.  This gave me plenty of time to get back down to the pitch for the second half.

April 6th, 2013 - Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil (21) attempts to get past Colorado Rapids defender Chris Klute (15) in second half action of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

April 6th, 2013 – Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil (21) attempts to get past Colorado Rapids defender Chris Klute (15) in second half action of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

The second half started and behind the great defense in goal by Irwin, kept Real Salt Lake off the scoreboard.  Both teams were attacking the goal, but both defenses were playing some brilliant ball.

April 6th, 2013 - Real Salt Lake forward Álvaro Saborío (15) and Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan (11) fight for the ball in front of the goal during second half action of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

April 6th, 2013 – Real Salt Lake forward Álvaro Saborío (15) and Colorado Rapids midfielder Brian Mullan (11) fight for the ball in front of the goal during second half action of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

I started to get a tad cold as the second half went on, but both teams were giving me some really nice action.  Irwin scared everyone in the stadium when during a throw he collapsed to the turf in agony.  It appears that he pulled the muscles in his rib cage on the throw.  After trainers came out and talked to him and checked him out, he stayed in the game and continued to deny Real Salt Lake a goal.

April 6th, 2013 - Colorado Rapids defender Marvell Wynne (22) steps in front of Real Salt Lake forward Olmes Garcia (13) to attempt to steal the ball in the second half of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

April 6th, 2013 – Colorado Rapids defender Marvell Wynne (22) steps in front of Real Salt Lake forward Olmes Garcia (13) to attempt to steal the ball in the second half of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

The one thing I am really missing for these games is a super telephoto.  I love my 300 2.8, but a 400 2.8 or even a 500 or 600 f4 would be a nice lens for the down field action.  So, if anyone wants to donate about $15K to me I would bring you some real nice photos from down field to look at.

April 6th, 2013 - Real Salt Lake midfielder Enzo Martinez (19) attempts to get a shot off between the defense from Colorado Rapids midfielder Tony Cascio (14) and midfielder Dillon Powers (8) during the second half of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

April 6th, 2013 – Real Salt Lake midfielder Enzo Martinez (19) attempts to get a shot off between the defense from Colorado Rapids midfielder Tony Cascio (14) and midfielder Dillon Powers (8) during the second half of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

As the clock was ticking away, Real Salt Lake was just not going to be able to find the back of the net for the tie and the Rapids were going to get their first victory of the 2013 season.  And a Rocky Mountain Cup game too boot.

April 6th, 2013 - Real Salt Lake forward Olmes Garcia (13) with the ball in the second half of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

April 6th, 2013 – Real Salt Lake forward Olmes Garcia (13) with the ball in the second half of the MLS match between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (Carl Auer/Newsport)

The photos from the Rocky Mountain Cup game between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids are available for media use only through NewSport Wire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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