Rapids Beat Real Salt Lake to Take Lead in 2006 Rocky Mountain Cup Competition

DENVER (June 9 2006) – The Colorado Rapids took a three point lead in the battle for the 2006 Rocky Mountain Cup by defeating Real Salt Lake 1-0 in front of 12920 fans Friday night at INVESCO Field at Mile High.

(To view video highlights from this match CLICK HERE).

Joe Cannon making his first start after returning from injury made the first save of the game in the second minute. Kyle Beckerman tripped over the ball and Real Salt Lake took it over but Carey Talley’s shot went directly to Cannon.

Nicolas Hernandez scored his second goal of the season in the 16th minute. The Argentine took a ball from a Kevin Novak turnover and attempted to play a through ball to Jacob Peterson. The ball bounced off a Real defender and right back to Hernandez in space. Hernandez then took a hard shot with his left foot that flew over the hands of Scott Garlick and into the upper corner of Real's net.

The goal was the 100th scored by the Rapids at INVESCO Field at Mile High.

Hernandez almost had his second goal in the 41st minute. His left footed shot however hit the outside of the side netting.

Cannon made a diving save in the 47th minute to keep the Rapids ahead. Jason Kreis received a ball at the top of the penalty area and turned and made a shot but Cannon was up to the task and smothered it. Eric Denton nearly scored his first goal of the season in the 52nd minute from the left side but his shot to substitute goalkeeper Jay Nolly’s near post hit the woodwork.

Cannon came up big again for the home team in the 59th minute with a great save. Jeff Cunningham one-timed a volley that was headed for the back of the net. Cannon stuck a had out to his left to block the shot then reached behind him to stop the ball from crossing the goal line.

Thiago Martins came just inches from his first goal in a Rapids uniform in the 67th minute. Hernandez slipped a through ball to the Brazilian who fought through two tackles to tap a shot that rolled just wide of the far post.

This game marks 221 consecutive minutes of home play without allowing a goal and Cannon’s first shutout of the season. The Rapids are now tied for second place in the Western Division pending the results of Saturday’s Houston Dynamo game.

With today’s loss Real Salt Lake remains in 4th place in the West and extends their losing streak against the Rapids to four games.

The Rapids now begin a 12 day layoff before they host Chivas USA on June 21 at INVESCO Field at Mile High at 7:30 p.m.

Colorado Rapids Man of the Match: Nicolas Hernandez

Scoring Summary:
COL – Hernandez 16


Colorado Rapids – Joe Cannon Hunter Freeman Aitor Karanka Mike Petke Eric Denton Terry Cooke (Daniel Wasson 82) Jovan Kirovski Kyle Beckerman Jacob Paterson (Dan Gargan 66) Clint Mathis (Thiago Martins 58) Nicolas Hernandez
Substitutes Not Used: Bouna Coundoul Dedi Ben-Dayan Luchi Gonzalez Chris Wingert

Real Salt Lake – Scott Garlick (Jay Nolly 46) Kevin Novak Nelson Akwari Daniel Torres (Nikolas Besagno 13 (Ryan Johnson 71) Willis Forko Kenny Cutler Chris Klein Carey Talley Mehdi Ballouchy Jeff Cunningham Jason Kreis
Substitutes Not Used: Jay Nolly Chris Brown Atiba Harris Christian Jimenez Andy Williams

Misconduct Summary:
COL – Kirovski (Caution) 9
COL – Beckerman (Caution) 21
RSL – Cunningham (Caution) 34

Referee: Tim Weyland
Referee's Assistants: Paul Scott Jose Corro
4th Official: Matt Grove
Attendance: 12920