RSL took the Rocky Mountain Cup despite the Rapids' offensive dominance in a dour 0-0 draw in Colorado.
The visiting RSL posted a clean sheet for the first time in five matches and avoided defeat for the first time in four. However, Real failed to register a shot on goal, with Colorado dominating.
"Desire," Tyrone Marshall said. "From minute one to minute 90, you can see it in the guys' faces that everything we did was all heart and desire. We left it on the pitch. We wanted to get result tonight, and I thought we should have come away with a victory, but with the other circumstances, that's how the game goes."
Sanna Nyassi was felled by onrushing 'keeper Nick Rimando half an hour into the match, but no penalty was awarded. Nyassi continued to provide exceptional service, especially from set pieces, but none of his teammates could finish the chances he provided.
"Look at the statistics: They dominated us in shots, corner kicks, and all the offensive categories," RSL coach Jason Kreis said. "But as I said I think some of that comes down to our players being so focused in on defending right, and starting again to try to improve in one particular area and that was the challenge that was placed before them this week. They met the challenge and rose above it."
The point means Salt Lake cannot catch Seattle Sounders FC in second place in the Western Conference.
Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni suffered a mild concussion during the match.
Additional reporting by Tim Gardner