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 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 sits atop the list of rivalries for fans and players.
The RMC began in 2005 with 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 five memorable 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 side 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, to become 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 first Rocky Mountain Cup 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.
August 26, 2016 | Howard denies PK attempt
Tim Howard's penalty-kick save at Rio Tinto Stadium late in the 2016 season is arguably one of his best saves with the Rapids. Howard and the the Rapids ultimately fell short in a 2-1 loss, but the Secretary of Defense made sure of a dramatic finish in Utah that night, not to mention the highlight reel save that will be played for years to come.
July 21, 2018 | Serna the super sub
In the second installment of the 2018 Rocky Mountain Cup, Colorado kid Dillon Serna was the second-half hero when he found an 88th minute equalizer inside Rio Tinto. Serna was able to slot home a rebound that capped a furious comeback by the Rapids who where down 2-0 early in the match.