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Brown, Rimando help Real Salt Lake blank Rapids

Sep 23, 2007 - 4:56 AM SALT LAKE CITY (Ticker) -- Real Salt Lake may not be able to stop the Colorado Rapids from making the playoffs, but the least it can do is make it a little more difficult for them to get there.

Kyle Brown's first-half goal was all Salt Lake needed Saturday night, as the third-year club shut out its Rocky Mountain rival Rapids, 1-0.

The Rapids (7-11-8), who have 29 points to place ninth in the playoff standings, still are two points behind eighth-place Chicago, which hosts D.C. United on Sunday.

Salt Lake (5-13-8) still has an outside chance of playing spoiler for its biggest rival, as the two clubs meet again on the last day of the season - October 20 in Colorado.

"Any time we can get a win against Colorado, or any team right now, is good for us," said Real midfielder Kyle Beckerman, who was named team captain prior to Saturday's game. We need to keep going forward and keep adding some points." Real, the lowest-scoring team in the Western Conference with just 26 goals, got on the board in the 30th minute thanks to an aggressive offensive attack.

Chris Brown found a crease in front of the Colorado net, but his shot was easily knocked away by goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul. However, the ball was deflected right to Brown, who blasted his second goal of the season into the left corner to give Salt Lake the one-goal edge.

"As soon as he (took) the shot, I just took off for the goal," Brown said. "Before the game, we were talking about how (Coundoul) was going to drop a lot of balls because it's slippery out."

Brown, a second-year forward, wasn't even expected to start the game originally. Fabian Espindola got the nod, but was hampered by groin pain, leaving Brown as a late addition to the starting lineup.

"Credit to Kyle, because that's not an easy thing to do, to show up at the stadium thinking you're not starting and then be thrust into the starting lineup an hour before kickoff," Salt Lake coach Jason Kreis said.

"It was good to hear. It's good news whenever you come in," Brown said of his unexpected start. "I wasn't quite expecting that, but you've got to be ready any time."

Salt Lake forward Javier Morales, who scored a crucial equalizer in a 2-2 tie with Los Angeles on Wednesday, had an opportunity to put away Colorado for good midway through the second half.

The forward had an open shot in the box but hesitated and couldn't find his footing. By the time he got off his shot, a Colorado defender already had stepped in front of him to thwart the chance.

The Rapids threatened on a few occasions in the second half, but nothing got past goalkeeper Nick Rimando. In fact, Colorado's best scoring chance of the game came in just the fifth minute, as Jacob Petersen beat Rimando with a laser from the right side, only to see his shot roll six inches left of the net.

"It's one of those things in the beginning of the year, they'd somehow find the back of the net on those," Rimando said. "But we're sticking at it and playing hard. ... and nowadays, we're clearing those and getting those out. We've turned the tables."

The shutout was Rimando's sixth this season and 42nd career.

"I'm running out of words," Kreis said. "Stellar, fantastic, (Rimando) saved another game for us. Saved two points for us."

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