Real Salt Lake routs the Rapids, claims Rocky Mountain Cup
Real Salt Lake midfielder Kyle Beckerman (5) heads the ball next to Colorado Rapids midfielder Dillon Serna (17) during the first half of an MLS soccer match Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Commerce City, Colo. • Jefferson Savarino had two goals and an assist to help Real Salt Lake beat the Colorado Rapids 6-0 on Saturday night.
Corey Baird added a goal and two assists for Real Salt Lake (12-10-5), which claims possession of the Rocky Mountain Cup for the third year in a row and the 10th time in the past 12 seasons.
Colorado’s Niki Jackson and Bismark Boateng were each shown a red card in the ninth and 45th minute, respectively, although by the time Boateng was sent marching, the game was already well in hand for the visitors.
Real Salt Lake remains in fourth place with the victory with 41 points, two behind LAFC for third and four behind Sporting Kansas City for second. RSL is now three points ahead of the Los Angeles Galaxy, who visit Rio Tinto Stadium next Saturday night in what will likely be a crucial game toward determining the West playoff race.
“Next week is no different from preseason on ... we just take the initial game,” RSL coach Mike Petke said. “Now it’s a bit more critical and crucial. Every point and every game matters.”
While RSL is in fourth place overall in the West, it is only four points ahead of both the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps, who sit in the No. 6 and 7 spots in the conference. RSL is six points ahead of eighth-place Seattle, but the Sounders have three games in hand.
Damir Kreilach opened the scoring in the sixth minute, first-timing a cross by Plata past a diving Tim Howard from the corner of the 6-yard box after Kyle Beckerman charged upfield to retain possession and slot through a pass to Plata.
Savarino, a 21-year-old forward, scored in the 33rd and then rifled a right-footer into the top corner of the net from outside the box to make it 3-0 in the 58th minute.
Joao Plata put away the rebound of his own headed on shot in the 69th after Howard made the initial save, Baird added a goal in the 74th and Albert Rusnak capped the scoring in the 86th minute on a nice passing effort from Baird. He first-timed a volley inside the near post for his third goal in the past two games.
Real Salt Lake outshot Colorado (6-14-6) 21-4, including 13-1 on target.