Match Day

Recap | Colorado Rapids fall in second leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup despite scoring three goals on the road


The Colorado Rapids fell to Real Salt Lake in the second edition of the 2024 Rocky Mountain Cup by a final score of 5-3 at America First Field. Rapids goals from Cole Bassett, Rafael Navarro, and Djordje Mihailovic were not enough when matched against braces from Chicho Arango and Andres Gomes in addition to an Anderson Julio score. With one win a piece, the 2024 RMC title will now be decided at DICK’S Sporting Good’s Park on July 20.

In a highly anticipated match from both sides, the action commenced almost immediately after the opening whistle. Just five minutes in, a mistake along the Salt Lake back line resulted in a golden opportunity for Rapids midfielder Bassett, who passed the ball into the open net from distance to secure an early lead in this edition of the Rocky Mountain Cup.

Bassett recorded his fifth goal of the season, already placing him one shy of his single season career high of six. The goal also marks the second consecutive match in which the midfielder has recorded a goal against Salt Lake.

That wouldn’t be all for Colorado in the first half, as a familiar face would find the scoresheet to continue a historic stretch. Starting a run from around 35 yards out, Navarro charged down the middle of the field into open space. After a blocked pass attempt, the ball found its way back to the feet of the Brazilian, who took a touch through two opposing defenders and placed a perfect chipped shot over the goalkeeper’s head to double the Rapid lead.

The forward’s goal marked his fourth consecutive match with a goal, making him only the fourth Rapids player to achieve such a streak since 2010. Navarro joined Kei Kamara and Conor Casey and is now one match away from tying Omar Cummings.

The home side would gain one back just four minutes later when Arango hit home a loose ball at the goal mouth following a blocked shot.

Salt Lake would tie things up in the 40th minute after a corner kick from Diego Luna made its way to Gómez, who found the back of the net to equalize right before the halftime whistle.

Colorado would come out of the halftime break on the front foot, which led to them regaining the lead in the 56th minute. After multiple shot attempts were stopped by the Salt Lake goalkeeper, Mihailovic buried home a rebound to put the Rapids up yet again.

Mihailovic recorded his third goal of the season and the 23rd of his MLS career. The midfielder has now logged eight goals contributions in his last eight appearances.

Real Salt Lake would then turn the tide in the match from the 85th minute on. Arango netted his second of the match after heading home a rebound off the crossbar.

Salt Lake would take the lead three minutes later when Gómez poked one into the back of the net from six yards out.

The final goal of the match came in stoppage time from Julio, who sealed the 5-3 victory for RSL.


  • D Keegan Rosenberry played all 90 minutes, totaling 13,467 minutes as a member of the Rapids, surpassing Marcelo Balboa for the fourth-most regular-season minutes (13,379) in club history.
  • M Cole Bassett scored his fifth goal of the season, the 24th goal of his MLS career. Bassett scored the opening goal in the fifth minute, marking the fastest goal for Colorado this season.
  • The Homegrown midfielder has scored a goal in consecutive matches against Salt Lake and the third of his career against the Utah side.
  • F Rafael Navarro scored in his fourth consecutive match, putting him into a tie with Kei Kamara and Conor Casey for the second longest single season scoring streak in club history since 2010.
  • Navarro’s goal ties him for the fifth-most in MLS this season with eight, the Brazilian now has logged six goals across his last seven appearances and has recorded a goal in consecutive appearances against Real Salt Lake.
  • Bassett and Navarro have now scored a goal in the same match for the fifth time this season.
  • M Djordje Mihailovic recorded his third goal of the season, the 23rd of his MLS career. The midfielder has now logged eight goal contributions in his last eight appearances.
  • The Colorado Rapids have scored in 13 of their 14 games in MLS this season, scoring in their last eight matches. Surpassing their longest run of games with a goal in MLS play since a 10-game stretch from July 5, 2022, to August 21, 2022.


On the match:

“The only thing I’m going to say to start here is we didn’t lift the trophy tonight. But our guys played like champions. We said we’re going to come here and go for it. We did that. The guys came out and did that, they set the tone and had a good response at halftime even and we’re two minutes away from stoppage time. So, for that I’m really proud of the team and those behaviors and those performances and those have to come before you lift the trophy. You don’t need to lift the trophy to become a winner. I saw a bunch of winners out there today, I’m really proud of my team.”

On Rafael Navarro scoring in four consecutive matches:

“We promised early on in the year that we were going to be a team that attacks in all ways and our team has scored goals. All of a sudden you see guys producing. Rafa, you can see his confidence is high. He can get in certain goal-scoring spots, he can deliver, which is a big positive on the night. We score three, we create some big chances, we gotta keep at that part of it. I even think you see with Mihailovic, he’s in and around lots of moments to give us final plays, so he has eight or nine gold contributions this year already. All those guys are heating up. That’s that.”

What worked well tonight, what needs to change going forward:

“I think each game we’re creating chances. What I would like to see in the attack is just more moments of that ability to sustain attacks, create even more chances, be more ruthless in moments. On the night, we create three, four really big chances, we score three. So we’re scoring goals, so we’d like to continue that. We’d been pretty stingy defensively tonight for the most part. The floodgates open a little bit as we’re pushing but we want to dust ourselves off. This was a tough one. It means so much to the guys, so much to all of us. That’s the price you pay for that love of it and desire, so when you don’t get it and you’re close, that’s the hurt that it is. I’m proud of the guys and this will pay dividends. We’re just really disappointed for not beating the first place team, win two games in their building. They haven’t lost since the last time we played them. Imagine that. They have one loss at home all year. Really close. We have a good team. I think they showed that tonight.”


On the match:

“We get them a third time and we're looking forward to that. This was tough result but we'll take it on the chin we'll move on and learn from it.”

On what he can message to the team as captain:

“Try to try to be proactive, try to communicate in a way that you’re kind of one step ahead at all times. Almost trying to kind of predict the flow of the game a bit. And again, it’s difficult in a loud stadium, you can only say so much and communicate with so many people around you, and for me, to even communicate to the front line is difficult. But again, it’s it happens hours and hours and hours before the game happens, it happens on the training field. That’s what we strive to do, is we rep all these things so that we can do them all together all at the same time and without communicating, because you can’t communicate. That’s what makes a sport fun. It’s hard to get perfect.”

On the three goalscorers tonight, what worked well to get them in those spots and what needs to be better:

“I think in general we’re generating a lot of chances. We’re scoring goals. I think the first goal tonight comes from the hard work defensively that we put in, we put them in really uncomfortable positions. I felt like they turn the ball over a lot. That’s how we started the game. We made them uncomfortable, a lot of turnovers and good spots for us. I think Cole exaggerates that by catching the goalie off his line, that they turned the ball over in a spot that they weren’t wanting to, but that’s another challenge for us is to try to keep our foot down and continue to push like that throughout the entire game, but it can be exhausting. The way that we want to play can tire us out at times and that’s when we need to kind of come back and kind of feel that ebb and flow of the game. But it’s encouraging for all of us that we’re scoring goals like that. Coming into this game, if we score three away we’re looking at a really good result and I think all of us would take that and see what happens.”