SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - Real Salt Lake fans have been waiting since November to get a first hand look at their team.
The wait is almost over.
RSL (1-1), which opened the season with two consecutive road games, hosts the Colorado Rapids (0-2) at Rio Tinto Stadium tomorrow at 4:00. The game will be televised on ABC 4.
"It's going to be a tough fight," said midfielder Kyle Beckerman. "They're coming off two losses, so anytime you get a team like that, their main thing is not to lose. Sometimes it's tough to play against teams like that because they don't open themselves up."
"They're a team that's extremely hungry at the moment because they have lost their first two games," said head coach Jason Kreis. "So, they're a very dangerous team."
A sellout crowd is expected to watch the first leg of the Rocky Mountain Cup, a trophy given to the winner of the season series between Real and Colorado. RSL has won it six straight years, so they know the Rapids will be coming after them.
"There's a lot of passion in [the rivalry]," said Beckerman, who played for both Colorado and RSL. "There was a lot of fuel to fire early in it. In the beginning, you just wanted this rivalry to happen because the teams are so close, but the things that made it on the field made it into a real rivalry."
"If it means something to our fans, then it means something to us," said Kreis. "The fans are part of our family, and if it's important to them, then it's important to us."
"It's a game we take very seriously," said forward Robbie Findley. "We're going to come out like every other game, but we're going to make sure we win this one."
It's also a chance for the fans to pay tribute to Nick Rimando, who became just the second goalkeeper in MLS history to record his 100th career shutout when RSL beat San Jose in the first week of the season. Rimando will be honored before the game.
"101 would be nice against Colorado," said Rimando. "It's big game. It always is when we play Colorado. It's the home opener, so everyone is raring to go and excited about this game."