Real Salt Lake came to Colorado trying to solve their conundrum of blitzing everyone at home and struggling on the road. After a dramatic first half in which they went 1-0 down to an early goal, lost their goalkeeper to a hand injury and had a player sent off, it wasn't about the conundrum anymore. As Salt Lake's coach, Jason Kreis, said afterwards, it was then about the character of his players. "All evaluation went out of the window," he said. In the end, the Rapids had control of the game throughout the second half, solidifying the very large upper hand they had gained after that first half. They stroked the ball around calmly, exhausted their ten-man opponents and added a second goal from, of all people, Kosuke Kimura, who slammed a great shot home from the edge of the area after Terry Cooke laid the ball off to him. I think he was rather pleased. Gary Smith, Rapids' head coach, was pleased with the result without being excited. That is part of his make-up anyway but it is the right reaction because, while we should be pleased with the result, we are still some way off dominating a team at home. The reaction of Ugo Ihemelu maybe sums the performance up. He was delighted with the shut-out, partly because it was his self-confessed mistake last week which led to LA's equalizer. But it also shows satisfaction at a professional performance rather than delight at a dominating one.
The line-up was interesting. After a run of a few games between the posts, Preston Burpo was left out in favor of Matt Pickens, the original number one choice at the start of the season. Mehdi Ballouchy, who has been a constant in the midfield, was dropped to the bench with Nick LaBrocca, scorer of the first goal, getting the start. Both Burpo and Ballouchy had not quite lived up to their own high standards in recent games, Smith said. It was time for a change. The Rapids have a bye next week before going on the road to play New England.