MLS rivalries are among the most anticipated games of the season - from the the Texas Derby, to the California Clásico, and of course the Cascadia Cup. Even the newest local rivalry - El Tráfico - has become must-see TV. For supporters of the burgundy and blue, the Rocky Mountain Cup, a 13-year-old competition between the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake atop the list of rivalries for fans and players.
The RMC began in 2005 when Real Salt Lake's first season in MLS. Fans from Utah and Colorado rallied together to form a bi-partisan committee of 10 supporters (5 from each club) to outline the competition. Once the two sides agreed upon the terms, a Rocky Mountain rivalry was born.
As Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids prepare to renew their rivalry this Saturday, we look back on a trio of memorable (burgundy) moments from the Rocky Mountain Cup.
April 16, 2005 | The Inaugural Game
The first meeting between the two clubs was in front of 25,287 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on April 16, 2005. Real Salt Lake snatched a late winner in a 1-0 victory, courtesy of Brian Dunseth's header in the 81st minute. The Rapids team that day included three players who would represent both clubs during the course of their career - Ritchie Kotschau, Nat Borchers and Kyle Beckerman.
Despite defeat in that first encounter, the Rapids would emerge triumphant by winning the remaining three matches in the Rocky Mountain Cup series, and therefore becoming the first to hoist the trophy.
June 6, 2009 | He shoots, he scores!
Arguably one of the biggest moments of the Rocky Mountain Cup happened during the Rapids' first game at Rio Tinto Stadium, when Omar Cummings scored a stunning goal in the 88th minute to secure a 1-1 draw. The goal earned Cummings MLS Goal of the Week honors and put him in contention for MLS Goal of the Year.
August 3, 2013 | The Cup comes back to Colorado
The Rapids reclaimed the Rocky Mountain Cup late in the 2013 season for the first time since 2006, after a 2-2 draw at DICK’S Sporting Goods Park. The game featured a lightning delay, just as RSL was awarded a penalty, with the score at 1-1. The penalty was converted upon resumption of play and in the 70th minute, Jaime Castrillon headed home a cross from Chris Klute to equalize the game, and ultimately bring the Cup back to Colorado.