TUCSON, Ariz. (Saturday, February 22, 2014) – The Colorado Rapids earned a 1-0 win over rivals Real Salt Lake in a Desert Diamond Cup preseason match, the first time the Rocky Mountain Cup rivals have met in 2014. Deshorn Brown scored his fourth goal in six preseason games to give Colorado the win, while Clint Irwin and Joe Nasco combined for the shutout.
Midfielder Dillon Powers (pictured below) also returned to the field for Colorado, playing his first competitive minutes since suffering a concussion on October 5 of last year. The 2013 Rookie of the Year was cleared to play without restrictions earlier this week and played the final 30 minutes on Saturday.
Brown’s goal came in the 69th minute, when Dillon Serna took the ball down the left side and crossed into the middle of the box. Nat Borchers seemed to have a read on the ball but it instead fell to the feet of Brown, who took a touch before blasting home past Lalo Fernandez.
The Rapids controlled play for most of the second half, especially after RSL’s substitutions in the 62nd minute, with chances falling to the feet of Brown, Gabriel Torres, and Charles Eloundou. Powers was active in his substitute appearance, setting up play and connecting passes in his familiar attacking midfield spot.
Goalkeeper Irwin played the first 70 minutes for Colorado, making his best save of the night in the 49th minute. Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman played a crafty pass to Javier Morales at the top of the box, and the Argentinian’s shot seemed destined for the lower corner before Irwin dove to get a hand on it and push it wide for a corner kick.
The Rapids will have a day off on Sunday before returning to practice on Monday in Tucson, and have two more matches left as part of the Desert Diamond Cup, first playing on Wednesday against Chivas USA before another match against an opponent to be determined on Saturday, March 1. With the win over RSL, the Rapids improved to 4-2-0 in six preseason matches.
COLORADO RAPIDS 1:0 REAL SALT LAKE
Preseason Exhibition – Kino Sports Complex; Tucson, Ariz.
COL – Deshorn Brown (Dillon Serna) 69’
Rapids lineup: Clint Irwin (Joe Nasco 70’); Nathan Sturgis (Albert Edward 70’), Marvell Wynne (Grant Van De Casteele 70’), Drew Moor (Jared Watts 70’), Chris Klute (Marc Burch 70’); José Mari (Juan Guzman 68’), Nick LaBrocca (Marlon Hairston 68’); Marvin Chávez (Charles Eloundou 61’), Kamani Hill (Dillon Powers 61’), Dillon Serna (Gabriel Torres 70’); Deshorn Brown (Edson Buddle 70’)
Real Salt Lake lineup: Nick Rimando (Lalo Fernandez, 62’); Tony Beltran (Rich Balchan, 62’), Chris Schuler (Nat Borchers, 46’), Carlos Salcedo (Aaron Maund, 62’), Chris Wingert (Abdoulie Mansally, 62’); Kyle Beckerman (C) (Cole Grossman, 62’); Ned Grabavoy (John Stertzer, 62’), Sebastian Velasquez (Luke Mulholland, 62’); Javier Morales (Dylan Mares*, 62’); Joao Plata (Olmes Garcia, 62’), Alvaro Saborio (Devon Sandoval, 62’)
RSL – Chris Wingert (yellow card) 30’
COLORADO RAPIDS – PRESEASON MATCHES 2014
DAY DATE OPPONENT (LOCATION) RESULT (SCORERS)/TIME
Sun Feb 2 Houston Dynamo (Houston, TX) W, 3-2 (Serna, Brown, Torres)
Thu Feb 6 Houston Baptist University (Houston, TX) W, 3-0 (Brown, Serna, Galindo)
Fri Feb 14 UNLV (Las Vegas, NV) W, 2-0 (Chávez, Sánchez)
Sun Feb 16 Chivas USA (Las Vegas, NV)^ L, 2-1 (Brown)
Wed Feb 19 Chicago Fire (Tucson, AZ)# L, 2-1 (Torres)
Sat Feb 22 Real Salt Lake (Tucson, AZ)# W, 1-0 (Brown)
Wed Feb 26 Chivas USA (Tucson, AZ)# 1:00 p.m. MT
Sat Mar 1 TBD (Tucson, AZ)# TBD
^Las Vegas ProSoccerChallenge
Desert Diamond Cup presented by FC Tucson