Rocky Mountain Cup

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Rocky Mountain Cup
NewRockyMountainCupLogo.jpg
Rocky Mountain Cup logo
Type Regular Season Series
Teams
First meeting 2005
Latest meeting RSL 2–1 COL (August 26, 2016)
Next meeting April 15, 2017
Stadiums
Statistics
All-time series Cup wins
RSL 8–4 COL
Matches won
RSL 15–12 COL
(10 draws)

The Rocky Mountain Cup is a soccer trophy contested between Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer. The cup is awarded by the Committee of 10, a group of bi-partisan fans who run the competition, to the team with the most points in games played between the two. The teams are awarded 3 points for each win and 1 point for each tie in regular season MLS games against each other. The Cup is awarded at the conclusion of the deciding game of the series between the two teams.

If the teams end the season in a points tie, the team with the most goals on aggregate will win (for a two-team competition, this is equivalent to goal differential). If the teams are tied on aggregate goals, the current holders retain the Cup for another year.

The cup was created in 2005, the first year of play for Real Salt Lake.

History[edit]

When it was officially announced that Salt Lake City would be awarded an MLS expansion club, fans from Utah and Colorado founded the bi-partisan Committee of 10 (5 supporters from each club) and began to outline the official rules of the competition. The contest was named the Rocky Mountain Cup after a vote from the fans, and a trophy was acquired.[citation needed]

The Rocky Mountain Cup began on April 16, 2005 at Real Salt Lake's inaugural home game, in which Real earned their first-ever win with a 1–0 victory. Colorado eventually won the trophy in 2005 after besting Real in the three subsequent matches that season, officially clinching the Cup at their final meeting of the year at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Prior to the 2006 MLS season, the two clubs swapped players in a trade, exchanging forward Jeff Cunningham and midfielder Clint Mathis. The repercussions of the trade surfaced in an August 10 match in which RSL humiliated Colorado 4–1 at INVESCO Field, punctuated by a stellar performance by Cunningham in which he earned two goals and an assist.

The Rapids would have their revenge later that year during a very heated match in Salt Lake City on September 2. The affair saw numerous hard fouls and seven yellow cards. Fans showered the field with debris and missiles throughout the game.[1] Colorado would grind out a 1–0 victory and secure the Rocky Mountain Cup for the second consecutive year. A myriad of controversy erupted after the game as the Rapids celebrated with the trophy. Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni removed his shirt, stuffed it down his shorts, and began making gestures at the Salt Lake fans. RSL owner Dave Checketts then came on to the field and confronted Mastroeni in an angry verbal exchange which was later broken up by players and officials.[2] Much to the ire of Real fans, the League did not take action for Mastroeni's controversial behavior.

The 2007 competition kicked off with the Rapids earning a comfortable 2–0 win on the road. After the match, Colorado midfielder Kyle Beckerman made remarks towards RSL supporters and their reaction towards the controversy of the previous September: "It definitely comes from their fans. They run their mouths the whole game. If they don't want us to celebrate, win the game."[3]

The next meeting between the teams, a 1-1 draw on May 10, finished with a bizarre distinction of being the only draw in MLS history in which only own-goals were scored. Later that year, on July 16, the two clubs exchanged Kyle Beckerman and Mehdi Ballouchy. This trade proved particularly controversial for Rapids supports and further deteriorated their relationship with Colorado head coach Fernando Clavijo.

Real Salt Lake would then even the 2007 series in September, forcing the deciding match in Colorado a month later on the final game of the season. Both teams were all but mathematically ruled out of the MLS Cup Playoffs, leaving the October 20 contest largely a match for pride. The Rapids needed only a draw to secure the cup for a third year, but Real grabbed a late win when Robbie Findley scored in the 87th minute. The victory for Real Salt Lake won the club their first Rocky Mountain Cup, and also brought a painful end to one of Colorado's worst-ever seasons.

2008 would play out in similar fashion to the previous year. The deciding match was again at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on the final day of the season. However, the stakes were higher, with a win for either side guaranteeing a playoff spot along with the Rocky Mountain Cup (Real could also prevail with a draw). Colorado pulled ahead and held a 1–0 lead into the closing seconds of the game, but Yura Movsisyan scored a clutch stoppage-time goal to end the game with a 1–1 draw. The result was quite possibly RSL's greatest moment in club history: retaining the Cup for a second year, clinching their first-ever postseason berth, and denying Rapids of the playoffs on their own turf. Salt Lake fans celebrated by throwing a number of smoke bombs onto the pitch after the final whistle, adding insult to injury for the stunned Colorado supporters.

The 2010 edition of the Rocky Mountain Cup played out as close and exciting as the previous three seasons. In the first leg, held September 27 at RSL's Rio Tinto Stadium, Real Salt Lake fielded a squad of mostly reserves in the middle of a busy stretch of their schedule including 2010–11 CONCACAF Champions League group stage matches. Coach Jason Kreis rested most of the starters in anticipation of an opportunity to clinch a berth in the CCL knockout round three days later. Conor Casey gave Colorado a 1–0 lead in the 36th minute. The result looked like it would hold until former Rapids defender Nat Borchers headed in a service from Andy Williams in the 93rd minute for the 1–1 draw. The second leg would finish in an even more exciting fashion. The teams returned to Dick's Sporting Goods Park for the final match of the regular season on October 23. Both teams had already clinched playoff spots. RSL needed a win or tie to have a chance at winning the Supporter's Shield. Colorado appeared to dash those hopes with a 16th-minute goal by Omar Cummings and a 51st-minute header by Conor Casey. Rapids fans were ready to celebrate their first Rocky Mountain Cup in 4 years while carrying a 2–0 lead into stoppage time. RSL forward Alvaro Saborio scored twice in stoppage time – first on a blocked clearance from Colorado keeper Matt Pickens in the 91st minute, and second on a penalty in the 95th minute after Drew Moor pulled RSL defender Jamison Olave down in the box on an RSL free kick. The resulting 2–2 draw gave RSL the Rocky Mountain Cup for the 4th consecutive season due to being the previous year's winner. Conditions after the match became ugly when several RSL players made obscene gestures towards the Colorado supporter's terrace and were consequently showered with beer cups and other projectiles. The draw would prove to be beneficial for Colorado, as it put them in the easier Eastern Conference bracket for the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs in which Colorado won its first ever MLS Cup.

Winners[edit]

Original Rocky Mountain Cup Logo (2005-2012)
Year Winner Points Loser Notes Series
2005 Colorado Rapids 9–3 Real Salt Lake COL 1–0
2006 Colorado Rapids 7–4 Real Salt Lake COL 2–0
2007 Real Salt Lake 7–4 Colorado Rapids COL 2–1
2008 Real Salt Lake 4–4 Colorado Rapids RSL retains as last winner Tied 2–2
2009 Real Salt Lake 4–4 Colorado Rapids RSL wins on goal difference RSL 3–2
2010 Real Salt Lake 2–2 Colorado Rapids RSL retains as last winner RSL 4–2
2011 Real Salt Lake 4–1 Colorado Rapids RSL 5–2
2012 Real Salt Lake 6–3 Colorado Rapids RSL 6–2
2013 Colorado Rapids 5–2 Real Salt Lake RSL 6–3
2014 Real Salt Lake 9–0 Colorado Rapids RSL 7–3
2015 Colorado Rapids 4–4 Real Salt Lake Rapids win on goal difference RSL 7–4
2016 Real Salt Lake 6–3 Colorado Rapids RSL 8–4

Tiebreakers: 1) Goal Difference, 2) Away Goals (prior to 2008, when teams played an equal number of home games; never used), 3) Previous Year Winners retain Cup

Series results[edit]

League matches[edit]

# Date Venue Home team Away team Score Series
1 April 16, 2005 Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 1–0 RSL 1–0
2 September 21, 2005 Invesco Field at Mile High, Denver Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 2–0 Tied 1–1
3 October 1, 2005 Invesco Field at Mile High Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 2–1 COL 2–1
4 October 12, 2005 Rice-Eccles Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 0–1 COL 3–1
5 May 27, 2006 Rice-Eccles Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 2–2 COL 3–1–1
6 June 9, 2006 Invesco Field at Mile High Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 1–0 COL 4–1–1
7 August 9, 2006 Invesco Field at Mile High Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 1–4 COL 4–2–1
8 September 2, 2006 Rice-Eccles Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 0–1 COL 5–2–1
9 April 30, 2007 Rice-Eccles Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 0–2 COL 6–2–1
10 May 10, 2007 Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 1–1 COL 6–2–2
11 September 22, 2007 Rice-Eccles Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 1–0 COL 6–3–2
12 October 20, 2007 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 0–1 COL 6–4–2
13 May 15, 2008 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 2–0 COL 7–4–2
14 August 29, 2008 Rice-Eccles Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 2–0 COL 7–5–2
15 October 25, 2008 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 1–1 COL 7–5–3
16 May 2, 2009 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 2–0 COL 8–5–3
17 June 6, 2009 Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 1–1 COL 8–5–4
18 October 24, 2009 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 3–0 COL 8–6–4
19 September 25, 2010 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 1–1 COL 8–6–5
20 October 23, 2010 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 2–2 COL 8–6–6
21 April 13, 2011 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 1–0 COL 8–7–6
22 October 14, 2011 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 0–0 COL 8–7–7
23 April 7, 2012 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 2–0 Tied 8–8–7
24 July 21, 2012 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 2–0 RSL 9–8–7
25 August 4, 2012 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 1–0 Tied 9–9–7
26 March 16, 2013 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 1–1 Tied 9–9–8
27 April 6, 2013 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 1–0 COL 10–9–8
28 August 3, 2013 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 2–2 COL 10–9–9
29 May 17, 2014 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 2–1 Tied 10–10–9
30 August 2, 2014 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 0–1 RSL 11–10–9
31 September 19, 2014 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 5–1 RSL 12–10–9
32 June 7, 2015 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 0–0 RSL 12–10–10
33 July 11, 2015 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 3–1 RSL 12–11–10
34 October 4, 2015 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 1–2 RSL 13–11–10
35 April 9, 2016 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 1–0 RSL 14–11–10
36 May 7, 2016 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 1–0 RSL 14–12–10
37 August 26, 2016 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 2–1 RSL 15–12–10
38 April 15, 2017 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake
39 August 26, 2017 Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids
40 October 15, 2017 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake

Playoff matches[edit]

The two sides have yet to meet in the MLS Cup Playoffs

Open Cup matches[edit]

Date Round Venue Home team Away team Score Series Leader (W-L-T)
August 2, 2006 Fourth round Rice-Eccles Stadium Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 0–1 COL 1–0–0
May 23, 2007 Qualification Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 2–1 COL 2–0–0

Continental matches[edit]

The two sides have yet to meet in the CONCACAF Champions League

Friendly matches[edit]

Date Event Venue Home team Away team Score Series Leader (W-L-T)
February 22, 2014 Desert Diamond Cup Kino North Stadium, Tucson Colorado Rapids Real Salt Lake 1–0 COL 1–0–0
February 28, 2015 Desert Diamond Cup Kino North Stadium, Tucson Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids 2–1 Tied 1–1–0

Statistics[edit]

Regular Season[edit]

Legend
Active Player for Colorado Rapids
Active Player for Real Salt Lake
  • Only MLS regular season matches played between Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake counted towards records.
  • Own goals not counted
  • If players are tied for a stat, the player who has most recently accomplished the stat is listed first.
As of August 26, 2016 [4]

Crossing the Continental Divide[edit]

As of 2016, eight players have played for both teams in the Rocky Mountain Cup. This was notably caused by a trade between the two teams in 2007, in which Colorado's Kyle Beckerman was traded to Salt Lake for Mehdi Ballouchy, both of whom became regular contributors for their new clubs. The trade also corresponded with Salt Lake's control of the Rocky Mountain Cup for many years. In addition, Nat Borchers, Jeff Cunningham, Atiba Harris, Richie Kotschau, Clint Mathis, and Chris Wingert have also faced off on both sides of the rivalry.

As of 17 April 2016

The Committee of 10[edit]

The Committee of 10, or C10, was initially formed through discussions between fans from both Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids on BigSoccer.com and on the now defunct fan forums at RealSaltLake.org. It was decided that each team's fans would be represented by five individuals per side. These representatives would be responsible for creating the guidelines, design, and ultimately raising the funds to create the Rocky Mountain Cup.

The Original Committee of 10

Real Salt Lake Colorado Rapids
Gary Hadley Mark Bodmer
Juliana Montgomery Bill Fisher
Eric Roberts Jason Greene
Glenn Webb Jason Maxwell*
Neil Wyler Jeremy Vanderlan
  • = Original Chairman

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Match Report, September 2, 2006 
  2. ^ Rapid fire, September 5, 2006 
  3. ^ Real Salt Lake still can't stop Colorado, May 1, 2007 
  4. ^ "2016 USA MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER, REGULAR SEASON 2016". ESPNFC. Retrieved August 26, 2016.