COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Colorado Rapids hosted Real Salt Lake on Saturday night. It was the second of three games in the 2021 Rocky Mountain Cup. Mark-Anthony Kaye was looking to open his Rapids account in this critical rivalry match.
Mark-Anthony Kaye Opens Colorado Account in RMC win
The first half was a tense affair, with both teams playing relatively conservative. Colorado deployed a 3-5-2 with mixed results. RSL put men behind the ball and played in transition. They dealt with Jack Price’s service on set pieces well. Rubio Rubin and Albert Rusnák leading the counter attack.
Diego Rubio had the first good look at goal four minutes in. Michael Barrios ran onto a cross from Mark-Anthony Kaye. He cut back on the end line and found Rubio in space, who skied the shot.
Rubin had a golden chance at the near post 21 minutes in, be he was unable to redirect the ball on goal.
Salt Lake appeared to take the lead in the 34th minute. On a set piece from 40 yards out, Justin Glad volleyed the ball down in front of goal. Goalkeeper William Yarbrough was unable to get it cleanly and Rubin got it over the line, off balance. Drew Fischer went to the monitor at the request of VAR, eventually ruling Glad offside.
The half ended 0-0. RSL keeper Zac MacMath sustained a right knee injury and Andrew Putna subbed on for him at half.
RSL picked up where they left off and this time the goal would stand. In the 51st minute, Aaron Herrera found space again on the flank. He got to the end line and crossed into space with the Rapids defense collapsing. Rusnák shot first time, smashing the ball upper 90 past Yarbrough.
Colorado had the wind taken out of their sales, but Rubio got it back for the home side in the 64th minute. He headed the ball in a crowd on a corner, bouncing the ball off the ground and past Putna.
With the score tied, Colorado went for the win. In the 71st minute, substitute Braian Galvan got space for a cross into the box. He put the ball in the air (with previous crosses on the ground not working). Mark-Anthony Kaye cane flying in for stand up header to make it 2-1.
RSL appeared to get a penalty with 10 minutes to go as Justin Meram went down in the box with Danny Wilson grabbing his shoulder. VAR got involved again, ruling the play offside.
The match ended 2-1.
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) August 22, 2021
Three Key Takeaways:
VAR: Drew Fischer went to the monitor twice in this game, getting two calls correct that went against RSL. Glad was offside in the buildup to the first goal. Then Meram was offside before the contact that led to the penalty call.
Boiling Point: This game epitomized Rivalry Week. It was physical with off the ball tackles. There was a shoving circle right before the PK got called back then again after Galvan took a hard foul. It played to Colorado’s advantage given their recent play.
MAK Attack: Mark-Anthony Kaye got his first taste of the Rocky Mountain Cup. He opened his account with the winning goal and had a decent match overall in midfield.