Real Salt Lake Real vs Colorado Rapids Col Picks and Predictions May 18th 2024

RSL, Rapids Both on a Roll Entering Rocky Mountain Cup Showdown

Real Salt Lake will host the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night in Sandy, Utah, for one of the most anticipated Rocky Mountain Cup clashes in recent memory. Both teams have had strong starts to the season and are genuine Western Conference contenders.

Teams’ Current Form and Standings

Real Salt Lake’s Dominance

Salt Lake (7-2-4, 25 points) heads into the weekend with a four-point lead over Colorado and three other teams at the top of the West. RSL is unbeaten in nine matches since their 2-1 loss to the Rapids in March. Cristian Arango has been the biggest threat to Miami’s Lionel Messi in the MLS MVP race with 11 goals and seven assists, already his MLS career high.

Coach Pablo Mastroeni has built one of the league’s best defenses, with RSL posting five clean sheets so far this season. “For us, the biggest challenge isn’t the opponents,” Mastroeni said. “It’s for us to be better than we were the game before.”

Colorado Rapids’ Resilience

Colorado (6-4-3, 21 points) won the teams’ first meeting on March 9 in Utah. The Rapids can secure their first Rocky Mountain Cup honor since 2020 with another win in Salt Lake. Rafael Navarro, who leads Colorado with seven goals, scored from the penalty spot in Wednesday’s 1-0 home win against 10-man Vancouver.

Previous Meeting and Context

March 9 Match Recap

In their first encounter of the season, Navarro leveled the match late in the first half with a penalty, and Cole Bassett scored a second-half winner, giving coach Chris Armas his first win at the club’s helm. This victory marked the beginning of both teams’ rise as Western Conference contenders.

Key Players and Performances

Cristian Arango and RSL’s Defense

Arango’s performance has been crucial for RSL, making him a top contender in the MVP race. The team’s defense, managed by Mastroeni, has been solid with five clean sheets, aiming to surpass last season’s total of nine.

Rafael Navarro and Colorado’s Ambitions

Navarro continues to be a key player for the Rapids, scoring consistently. His recent goal against Vancouver kept Colorado’s hopes alive for the Rocky Mountain Cup.

Quotes and Insights

Coaches’ Perspectives

Mastroeni emphasized the importance of continuous improvement: “It’s for us to be better than we were the game before.” Armas expressed the significance of the Rocky Mountain Cup: “This Rocky Mountain Cup is such an important cup to us as a team and to our fans.”

Future Implications

Rocky Mountain Cup and Beyond

If the Rapids can’t secure a second away win, they still have a chance to claim the Rocky Mountain Cup in the series finale at home in July. “We know it’s a tough task going over there and winning,” said Rapids guard Jalen Williams. “But now it’s kind of like that first to best out of three series and that’s how we’re treating it.”


As Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids prepare for their clash, both teams are riding high on recent successes. With key players like Cristian Arango and Rafael Navarro in the spotlight and significant implications for the Rocky Mountain Cup, this match promises to be an exciting and competitive showdown.

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping
Thu, May 16, 14:47 pm.
Real Salt Lake REAL
O 3
Colorado Rapids COL
U 3
Geovanny Araya | Handicapper

Born and raised in Spain, Geovanny is one of the leading soccer experts at Sports Hub. He has consistently found winners betting on soccer leagues all around the world. He crunches hundreds of data points to identify winners in the Premier League, MLS and even smaller leagues.

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2024-05-18 09:26
2024-05-18 09:26