On Sunday, Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids contest the Rocky Mountain derby in their opening match of the MLS is Back Tournament. Here are three things to watch for.
The first derby match of the season between Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids will look different this year. Both clubs will face each other in Florida far away from their home supporters. Regardless, the Sunday night contest is one of the most anticipated of the MLS is Back Tournament group stage despite the different atmosphere that awaits them.
Neither club has lost a match in Major League Soccer in 2020 thus far. The Rapids won their first two matches while RSL tied both of their opening fixtures. Entering this competition both teams are regarded as potential dark horses to go far in the knockout rounds.
Here are three things to watch for.
3. Can the Rapids end the drought?
The last five meetings between these two teams have not gone well for the Colorado Rapids. They have not won since October 2017. Moreover, RSL have outscored the Rapids 16-4 in their last five meetings with four victories and one draw.
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Recent results for the Rapids might indicate this edition of the derby match might have a different outcome. They appear to be on the verge of a breakout season after finishing the 2019 campaign in excellent form. If there is a time when they could end their drought, this opportunity might be the best chance.
RSL won’t be an easy out, especially for a club that has been to the Western Conference semi-finals in the last two seasons. They have their eyes set on making it very far in this tournament and a victory over the Rapids will give them plenty of momentum to go on and win a tightly contested Group D.