Dominance Continues: Rapids Defeat Rivals Real 2-0 in Salt Lake

Salt Lake City Utah (Monday April 30 2007)- The Colorado Rapids beat their Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Real Salt Lake 2-0 tonight behind goals from Roberto Brown and Kyle Beckerman. The road victory helps the Rapids vault into first place in the Western Conference.
(To watch video highlights from this match click here).

Bouna Coundoul made the first save of the game in the 15th minute. Jeff Cunningham cut a ball from the near side to Mehdi Ballouchy. The former Colorado Rapids U-23 player’s one time shot was smothered by Coundoul.

Chris Seitz made his first MLS save in the 19th minute. Kyle Beckerman received a pass after an extended period of Rapids possession but his chip shot was caught by the young RSL ‘keeper.

Terry Cooke found Niko Hernandez in front of the Real goal in the 40th minute with a corner kick but the Argentine’s header sailed over the crossbar.

Freddy Adu had the first half’s last scoring opportunity as his long distance shot went just over the crossbar of Coundoul’s goal just before the halftime whistle sounded.

Colorado came out of the locker room for the second half and really began to dominate the game. Herculez Gomez had a 48th minute strike that was only kept out of the goal by a diving Seitz.

Chris Klein hit the outside of the near post side netting with an 18-yard drive in the 57th minute.

Rookie Nico Colaluca made his professional debut for the Rapids when he came on for Cooke in the 69th minute.

Brown scored his second goal and second game-winning goal of the year in the 71st minute. The Panamanian stole the ball from defender Daniel Torres who had misplayed an upfield Rapids pass made a couple of cuts through the RSL defenders and calmly blasted the ball into the net in a great single-handed effort.
The Rapids had a fantastic goal scoring opportunity in the 75th minute as one of the RSL defenders passed the ball back to Seitz who handled the ball resulting in an indirect free kick for Colorado inside RSL's 18-yard box. Gomez stepped up and blasted the ball home but referee Abbey Okulaja called the goal back as he had not yet blown his whistle to restart play.

On the replay of the free kick Kyle Beckerman one of the Rapids' Golden Boot winners in 2006 doubled the score line. Herculez Gomez banged his shot off a charging SaltLake defender and it fell to Beckerman who hit a ball back up the middle and it bounced off another Real defender and into the back of the net.

The Rapids next return to the friendly confines of Dick’s SportingGoodsPark this Saturday May 5th for their annual Cinco de Mayo celebration when they host the defending MLS champions Houston Dynamo in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff live on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español.

Scoring Summary:
COL- Brown (unassisted) 71

COL- Beckerman (unassisted) 75

Lineups:

Colorado Rapids – Bouna Coundoul Ugo Ihemelu Mike Petke Pablo Mastroeni Greg Vanney Terry Cooke (Nico Colaluca 69) Kyle Beckerman Jovan Kirovski Herculez Gomez (Dan Gargan 88) Roberto Brown Nicolas Hernandez
Substitutes Not Used: Zach Thornton Daniel Wasson Chris Wingert Conor Casey Jose Cancela

Real Salt Lake – Chris Seitz Jack Stewart Eddie Pope Daniel Torres Willis Forko (Atiba Harris 78) Chris Klein Mehdi Ballouchy Jason Kreis Carey Talley Freddy Adu Jeff Cunningham

Substitutes Not Used: Nick Rimando Nikolas Besagno Chris Brown Duke Hashimoto Chris Lancos Jamie Watson

Misconduct Summary:
COL- Vanney (Caution) 78

Referee: Abbey Okulaja

Referees Assts.: Emiliano Monje; Peter Balciunas

Fourth Official: Tyler Ploeger

Attendance: 14173