SANDY — With Real Salt Lake slipping further down the Western Conference table as Major League Soccer hits the final stretch of the regular season, another intra-conference game has been postponed indefinitely.
The league announced Monday evening the postponement of RSL's match scheduled for Oct. 18 at the Colorado Rapids as part of a run of four-straight postponed Rapids matches as the club has dealt with an emergence of positive test results for COVID-19.
"Although there have been no new confirmed cases among Rapids staff and players, based on the total number of cases, Major League Soccer, in consultation with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, has postponed Colorado Rapids matches for the next 10 days," a statement from RSL reads.
Colorado, which has not played since Sept. 23, has already moved two dates of its final seven matches, including shifting a scheduled Sept. 27 match with Sporting Kansas City to Oct. 21 and an Oct. 3 match with the Portland Timbers to Nov. 4.
In addition to the rivalry derby with RSL, the Rapids also postponed games at Seattle on Oct. 14 and against Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 21. The club initially announced a player and three club staff members received confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnoses from a round of tests conducted Sept. 24-25, then said an additional player and seven staffers tested positive Sept. 28.
Five more members of Colorado's party, including three players, then tested positive Oct. 1, Oct. 7 and Oct. 9.
The club was unable to train until last Monday, Oct. 5, leading to Monday's postponement.
Adding to the difficulty is the already congested nature of Real Salt Lake's final month. Much like the rest of MLS, RSL — which has lost three in a row — will play a mid-week match in two of the next three weeks, beginning Wednesday at home against the Timbers (7:30 p.m. MT, KMYU).
The team will then be off for 10 days before hosting FC Dallas, followed by a match Oct. 28 at San Jose, Nov. 1 at the Galaxy and hosting Sporting in the currently scheduled season finale Nov. 8 — which is currently scheduled to be MLS Decision Day, or the final day of the regular season.
Colorado, which currently occupies the eighth and final playoff spot in the West (just one point ahead of RSL), will next play Oct. 24 at Sporting Kansas City.