Saborio, Johnson lead Real Salt Lake past Rapids

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SANDY, UTAH (AP)—Real Salt Lake has rediscovered the attacking form that made the team so tough earlier this season.

Facing Colorado in the second game of the annual Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry series between the two clubs, Salt Lake showed aggressiveness in getting to the ball, pushing it forward and setting up scoring chances. It paid off in a big way.

Alvaro Saborio and Will Johnson both scored in a 2-0 victory over the Rapids on Saturday night.

Salt Lake (12-7-3) won its second straight at home to bounce back from a 5-0 loss at San Jose a week earlier.

“Everybody pitched in tonight,” Johnson said. “That’s the only way we’re going to win.”

The biggest contribution came from Salt Lake’s two starting forwards. Coach Jason Kreis credited Saborio and fellow striker Fabian Espindola with setting an aggressive tone through their work rate.

They made a point of contesting Colorado’s defenders for practically every ball. Those efforts paid off a couple of times with easy scoring chances

“We feel we are at our best when we are the team that is really pressing the game,” Kreis said. “And it starts with our forwards.”

Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando got his 132nd career win to move to second place on the career wins list. He praised his teammates for putting together a complete defensive effort.

“We play with our defense,” Rimando said. “That’s the first thing that comes to mind.”

Colorado (7-13-1) lost its fifth straight and is winless in its last eight meetings against Salt Lake.

Salt Lake got on the scoreboard in the 32nd minute by capitalizing on defensive blunder by the Rapids. Fabian Espindola stepped in front of a back pass from Marvelle Wynne to Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens. Espindola collided with Pickens and the ball trickled out to Saborio in the goalmouth, and he tapped the ball inside the right post for a 1-0 lead.

Johnson added an insurance goal in the 90th minute off a takeaway. He rushed toward the right post and fired the ball inside the left post, burying it in the corner.

For the Rapids, the frustration showed in letting another game against Salt Lake end in a negative result.

“It’s disappointing when in a game like this that we put so much work into it and just finish the game with such big mistakes,” Colorado coach Oscar Pareja said.

Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando got his 132nd career win to move to second place on the career wins list. He praised his teammates for putting together a complete defensive effort.

“We play with our defense,” Rimando said. “That’s the first thing that comes to mind.”

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