RSL stymies Rapids for another Rocky Mountain Cup

Jul 21 2012 - 10:41pm


SANDY -- For the sixth consecutive year, the Rocky Mountain Cup will stay on the Wasatch side.

Riding a strong end-to-end effort for 90-plus minutes, Real Salt Lake slammed the door on this year's version of the rivalry series early, rolling to a commanding 2-0 victory over Colorado on Saturday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Salt Lake extended its unbeaten dominance in the series to eight consecutive matches, and wins the series outright for the second straight year and third time overall.

Real (12-7-3, 39 points) found the back of the net once in each half, and created plenty of strong scoring chances from start to finish.

RSL punched itself into the lead in the 32nd minute after forward Fabian Espindola latched onto an errant back pass by the Colorado defense and drove toward the goal, colliding with Rapids' goalkeeper Matt Pickens in a 1-on-1 situation. The partially deflected ball crawled toward the goal line, where Alvaro Saborio patiently waited to ensure he didn't poach the goal from Espindola, and then tapped it in from barely a foot away.

Real outshot Colorado 6-1 in the opening half, and 12-3 for the match, while not allowing a shot on goal in 90+ minutes. RSL's defense notched its third clean sheet in four matches, while Real goalkeeper Nick Rimando moved in sole possession on the MLS career wins charts.

Holding a 1-0 lead with time winding down, Real all but closed out the match early in stoppage time when Saborio held up and then made a short pass to Will Johnson, who streaked toward the goal and launched a right-to-left missile into the back of the net for the 2-0 lead.

* SPORTING KANSAS CITY 0, REVOLUTION 0: At Kansas City, Kan., Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen made four saves for his league-leading ninth shutout of the season in a scoreless draw with the New England Revolution.

Sporting (11-6-4) moved one point behind first-place New York in the Eastern Conference. Nielsen's shutout moved him one ahead of Vancouver's Joe Cannon.

Matt Reis earned his fourth shutout for New England (6-9-5), which is just 1-7-2 on the road.

* FC DALLAS 5, TIMBERS 0: At Frisco, Texas, Jackson had a goal and two assists to help FC Dallas get a season high in scoring in a victory over Portland.

Andrew Jacobson, Scott Sealy, Ruben Luna also scored for Dallas (5-10-7), which played without top offensive player Brek Shea -- left off the roster for disciplinary reasons. David Ferreira also had two assists and Dallas benefited from an own goal by Portland's Hanyer Mosquera.

Dallas, which won for the second time in three games since a 13-game winless streak (07-6), hadn't scored more than twice in a game all season.

* DYNAMO 3, IMPACT 0: At Houston, Macoumba Kandji scored twice to lead Houston to a win over Montreal to extend the Dynamo's unbeaten streak to six games.

Bobby Boswell also scored to help the Dynamo (9-5-7) win their third straight and move into third place in the Eastern Coference. Kandji had his first two-goal game since Oct. 24, 2009, when he was playing for New York.

Montreal (7-13-3) has lost two of three and five of its last seven.

Kandji put the Dynamo up 1-0 in the seventh minute, knocking in the rebound of his own shot off Montreal goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and Zarek Valentin and inside the far post.

* CREW 1, UNITED 0: At Columbus, Ohio, Chris Birchall scored in the 46th minute to help the Columbus Crew beat D.C. to end a two-game skid.

Birchall, in his sixth game after being signed in May following three seasons with Los Angeles, ran past the D.C. line to take a leading ball from Jairo Arrieta. Birchall dribbled down the left side and scored from 10 yards out with his left foot for his first goal with the Crew (7-7-4).

Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum made three saves for his seventh shutout.

* RED BULLS 2, UNION 0: At Harrison, N.J., Kenny Cooper headed in two goals, scoring for the first time since May 23, to lead New York over Philadelphia.

The Red Bulls (11-5-5) remain undefeated at home this season, improving to 7-0-3. New York is the lone MLS team without a loss at home.

Cooper, who did not start Wednesday's game against Chicago, scored off a pass from rookie Connor Lade in the 43rd minute, then added another header off a fine feed from Thierry Henry in the 58th minute. Cooper has 13 goals this season.

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