Colorado Rapids

Recap | Rapids fall 2-3 in first Rocky Mountain Cup clash of the year

The Big Picture 

Defenders Danny Wilson and Lalas Abubakar both scored on the night, but the Colorado Rapids (2-6-6, 12 pts) were unable to complete their comeback as they fell 2-3 at home to Real Salt Lake (4-6-3, 15 pts) in the first leg of the 2023 Rocky Mountain Cup. The two sides will face each other again on Wednesday in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16.


  • M Connor Ronan delivered an assist on both of the Rapids’ goals tonight. The offseason signing has now recorded a goal and five assists over his last four regular-season appearances. 
  • D Lalas Abubakar scored his second goal of the season in the 74th minute of tonight’s match. 
    • It marked his third consecutive goal against RSL after scoring the equalizing goal in both of the Rapids’ matchups against RSL last season. 
    • With his goal tonight, Abubakar tied Conor Casey and Omar Cummings for the second-most goals scored against RSL as a member of the Rapids (3). 
  • D Danny Wilson opened his 2023 account in the 33rd minute, scoring his fifth goal of his MLS career. Wilson also collected his first assist of the season on Abubakar’s goal in the 74th minute.  
  • F Braian Galván made his first start tonight since October 23, 2021. The Argentine underwent successful ACL surgery on February 8, 2022. 
  • D Keegan Rosenberry recorded his 124th start as a member of the Rapids tonight, surpassing Kyle Beckerman for the sixth-most starts in club history. Rosenberry also recorded his 200th MLS appearance tonight. 
  • GK William Yarbrough registered a pair of saves tonight, totaling 300 saves in his MLS career.


On the team’s performance:

“Yeah, it's frustrating. It's frustrating to give up the goals that we have recently. Really what we did throughout this [unbeaten] stretch, I think I said this in the last press conference three days ago, is that we kept ourselves in games by being solid defensively. Even in games we didn't play particularly well, we were very solid defensively and we kept ourselves in games, got draws and got wins late. Even last game, after conceding the early goal, for most of the second half, we were quite good and actually thought we were going to get a goal and that one would have potentially ended in the draw. But as I talked about last time, one goal can't turn into four. Tonight, one goal turned into three and for me it was just defensive frailty. Like we just need to be better. We absolutely need to be better. All three goals I thought were soft and we can talk about the second half, which was really positive, guys are on the front foot, they were dangerous. We've pushed and pushed and pushed. Obviously scored to make it close. But none of that matters if you've already dug yourself a three-goal hole. So, we need to be—I don't even know how to address the question. Do they want to get back to that [unbeaten stretch]? Or how badly do they want to get back to that? I can tell you we badly want to win games. And to do so we need to be solid defensively and play with the urgency that we saw in the second half today.”

On the upcoming re-match against RSL on Wednesday in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup:

“I think after every loss, the next game and the next game and the next game become more and more important and while it's in a different competition, for our mental well-being it's very important. I think it's a really, really important game. When we look at the game tonight, they approached it in a somewhat cautious manner which invites us to have more of the ball. And if we don't do well with the ball and don't do well in transition, then we end up where we did and the reason I referenced that is because Wednesday night I don't know what their approach will be, but we need to be better, we need to be better with the ball and we need to show urgency from the beginning.”


On the match:

“Just hugely disappointing. And I think these games all too often, in the last couple of years, have followed the same sort of pattern where we actually play fairly well in the game, but it's all for nothing, really, because we've given up cheap goals, and given ourselves a hole to climb. So, in the first half, we actually started the game fairly well, and then we found ourselves two goals down fairly quickly. Two goals off two deflections, which probably avoidable. Disappointing, and then we managed to get ourselves back in the game, and then shoot ourselves in the foot right before halftime, so another mountain to climb, but I thought the second half was more positive. But yeah, just real disappointing, really. We have to be better. We have to show a little bit more about ourselves to not find ourselves behind. Anybody can play when you’re a couple of goes down. It takes a real team to play when things are level, things are in the balance. So, not too downbeat, but at the end of the day, it's another defeat here, which is disappointing for us and something we need to remedy quickly because still a lot of season left to play, and we have to fix up moving forward and move on quickly.”

On the upcoming re-match against RSL on Wednesday in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup:

“I don't think much changes in terms of the approach to the game. We’re here. We should be the team that's on the front foot playing well, as we should have been tonight. It took us going two goals down to be that team. We can't be that team on Wednesday. We have to be right there from the off. The Cup this year, we've performed fairly well. We've had good results, obviously, getting this far, but we want to go further. So, when the game comes around on Wednesday, we have to be ready for it. It's a short turnaround. We've played a lot of Saturday-Wednesday games just now, but the boys are coping with it fairly well in terms of the recovery side of things. So, we just have to be ready. We have to go into the game, believe in, you know, from the second half performance and for large parts, the performance tonight that was good, but we’re well aware that if you're going to have any chance of going through, you have to cut out the stupid mistakes.”

On Rapids forward Diego Rubio’s absence due to injury:

“I think it's easy to see when he's not playing, but I think everybody knows what Diego [Rubio] gives us when he's on the field. Not just his goals, but his all-around play and his leadership, as well. Yeah, it's hard to say because he wasn't there tonight. You never know how the game might have went, but we hope to have him back with us fairly quickly because he is a huge player for us, has been over the years, and we miss him but hoping to have him back shortly.”