Colorado struck just five minutes in and held on for its first win of the season.
With a roster speckled once again with rookies, the Rapids made an early statement. Edson Buddle showed his experience as he wisely held up the ball in the box before making a quick pass to Atiba Harris. Real Salt Lake’s goalkeeper Nick Rimando had no chance to stop the close range rocket Harris sent his way, giving the Rapids an early 1-0 lead in the 5th minute.
Real Salt Lake had a chance to tie it up in the ninth minute, as the referee granted the visitors a penalty kick. Alvaro Saborio missed his first attempt fromt he spot in four seasons when he tried to place his shot to the keeper’s left. Rookie Clinton Irwin brought the crowd to their feet as he blocked Saborio’s shot.
The visiting keeper also had his turn to impress. Rookie Deshorn Brown hit a close strike in the 40th minute, but Rimando’s quick response kept the halftime score 1-0.
The second half showcased Real Salt Lake’s precise passing quality, as it kept Irwin on his toes. When the final whistle blew however, the Rapids celebrated their first win of the season, and a crucial three point lead in the battle for the Rocky Mountain Cup.