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RSL, Rapids ready for West tilt

Commerce City, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of Western Conference rivals will meet on Saturday as the Colorado rapids host Real Salt Lake at Dick's Sporting Goods Park.

Colorado finds itself in a decent position in the standings, holding onto fifth place in the crowded Western Conference with 30 points from 21 matches played.

But the Rapids will need to put in a better effort on Saturday if they hope to bounce back from a resounding 3-0 thrashing at the hands of the New England Revolution.

Heading into the match against Colorado, the Revs had lost their previous eight matches in league play, but opened the scoring in the 10th minute when a strike from Lee Ngyuen deflected in off Rapids defender Drew Moor for an own goal.

Colorado was reduced to 10 men in the 74th when Thomas Piermayr fouled Steve Neumann to collect his second yellow card. And Nguyen wasted little time in taking advantage as he sent a free kick perfectly into the upper left corner of the net.

Nguyen then turned provider as he found Kelyn Rowe inside the area, allowing the young midfielder to lash a shot past goalkeeper Rapids goalkeeper Clint Irwin.

"I never felt like we looked dangerous, always looked like we were on the back foot instead of the front," said Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni. "But obviously there are games that you have to take something from, they're going to happen, especially with a young group. We just have to take our lumps and move on."

RSL will also be looking for three points as the Claret-and-Cobalt are coming off a 1-1 draw against Red Bull New York at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Real Salt Lake took the lead in the 18th minute through leading scorer Joao Plata, who collected a nice layoff pass on the left side of the box from defender Chris Wingert and deposited it past New York goalkeeper Luis Robles.

New York was able to find the equalizer in the 57th minute as New York striker Bradley Wright-Phillips made his way to the touch line on the left side and whipped a cross into the box that found Tim Cahill at the penalty spot. The Australian international opted not shoot and laid the ball off for and open Henry at the top of the 18 yard box. The Frenchman showed why he is one of the best and hit a perfectly placed shot into the right corner to beat Nick Rimando.

"I thought, attacking-wise, that we were very good. I thought we were good on both sides of the ball tonight. I couldn't ask more from our players. They had one shot on goal tonight, so defensively we were very strong," said RSL head coach Jeff Cassar. "On a different night, we probably could've had two or three -- a ball was played off the line, and their goalkeeper made another great save. Overall, I'm really pleased. I'm not pleased with one point, but I'm pleased with the team�s performance."

08/01 16:58:46 ET

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