Colorado Rapids 1, Real Salt Lake 2 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
Real Salt Lake made an epic comeback to beat the Colorado Rapids 2-1, taking this Rocky Mountain Cup meeting and jumping up off the bottom of the Western Conference standings. The match turned in the final 10 minutes, first with a Jared Watts handball on the goalline that set up a Yura Movsisyan penalty kick. Then Brooks Lennon scored his first goal in MLS to stun the Colorado crowd and keep Mike Petke unbeaten since returning to the MLS head coaching ranks.
Most of the game, which the Rapids played without suspended 'keeper Tim Howard, was played with Colorado up 1-0. The 29th-minute goal came from a moment of brilliance on the wings: Bismark Boateng played a throughball into space which Marlon Hairston met on the run. Hairston's cross was met by Kevin Doyle in the penalty area.
- PETKE MAGIC: The before-and-after picture is still being shaken into focus, but RSL's season currently consists of the time before Petke (no wins) and after Petke (two wins ... in a row). Whereas last week showed how much potential this club has to be explosive offensively, here RSL got to show off their resiliency. A two-goal combo out of nowhere was especially surprising as Colorado seemed to be heading to a classic home 1-0 victory.
- RAPIDS REROUTED: The flip side of that coin is where the Rapids are headed. In their 10 home games with Tim Howard, going back to last season, they only surrendered five goals, two of which were in the Rapids' last home game. Is giving up multiple goals at home two games in a row a sign of some confusion on the Rapids back line? Or just a product of Zac MacMath lining up between the sticks for the first time since the season opener?
- PLAY YOUR KIDS: The Petke signing bears a lot of similarities to the coaching situation in Los Angeles, enough that it feels like a trend is brewing. It's not just promoting the B-side coach to take over the senior squad, it comes with an increased reliance on Academy and USL players from that lower level. Tonight, RSL used five such Academy players.