SANDY, Utah (Monday, July 9, 2018) – For the third consecutive season, Real Salt Lake (9-8-2, 29 pts., 4th West) hosts a high-profile international friendly at Rio Tinto Stadium, welcoming German Cup champions Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday for an 8:00 p.m. MT kickoff. Following in the recent Utah footsteps of Manchester United (2017) and Internazionale Milano (2016), Eintracht Frankfurt – featuring former USMNT player Timmy Chandler – arrived in Utah on Saturday, spending most of the week at the club’s Zions Bank Real Academy Training Center in preparation for their U.S. tour. Tickets for Tuesday’s match remain available at www.RSL.com/Tickets.
Presented locally by the Utah Sports Commission, the Eagles – winners of the German Cup earlier this year, and Bundesliga stalwarts – make their first trip to Utah, joining a list of top-flight international clubs to visit the Beehive State to face RSL. Last year’s Manchester United (England) exhibition followed Real Madrid (Spain) in 2006 (Rice-Eccles Stadium), Everton (England) in 2007/09 and Internazionale Milano (Italy) in 2016 (Rio Tinto Stadium). RSL also boasts a long history of hosting regional CONCACAF powers Club América (Mexico) in 2008, Saprissa (Costa Rica) in 2011, Chivas de Guadalajara (Mexico) in 2008, as well as South American clubs Boca Juniors (Argentina) in 2007 and Universidad Católica (Chile) in 2005, among others.
For the third consecutive Summer, Real Salt Lake faces a European side at the world-class Utah venue, with tickets remaining in the venue affectionately known as “the RioT,” with a capacity of 20,138. Remaining tickets start at just $10, increasing in value depending on location and available hospitality packages, details of which can be viewed by visiting www.RSL.com/tickets or by calling 844.Real.Tix for more information).
Head Coach Mike Petke’s team improved to 8-1-1 at home this season in Major League Soccer action with a pair of RioT wins last week over the top two teams in the Western Conference, defeating rival Sporting KC, 4-2, on Wednesday night, prior to Saturday’s 2-0 victory over FC Dallas. The pair of wins extended the club’s home unbeaten run to nine straight dating back to the 2018 home opener, while RSL is now 17-5-4 at home in MLS action during the Petke era. The recent run has seen RSL outscore visitors 20-7 during the nine-game unbeaten streak, with RSL next hosting Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado on July 21 at Rio Tinto Stadium (8:00 p.m. MT) in celebration of Pioneer Day Weekend, replete with post-game fireworks.
In the back-to-back MLS victories, RSL featured contributions from all over the roster, including four of the six goals scored by players aged 23 or younger: FWJefferson Savarino, FW Corey Baird, FW Sebastian Saucedo and MF Albert Rusnák. Two additional goals were scored by FW Luis Silva, while GK Nick Rimando extended his MLS marks for career shutouts (142) and career wins (205).
An MLS-record six former RSL Academy players featured in Saturday’s 2-0 win, as Baird and Saucedo were joined by DF Justen Glad, DF Brooks Lennon, DF Danny Acosta and DF Aaron Herrera to equal the record set by RSL earlier this year on May 25 in a 1-0 road win at Seattle. Dallas started five homegrowns of their own Saturday, making the match the first in MLS’ 23-year history with 10 homegrown starters and 11 player appearances.
Real Salt Lake – 12 points ahead of last year’s pace, which did not see the club attain its 29th point until August 13 – returns to league play on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the first of five games against team below the playoff line from now through mid-August. The Claret-and-Cobalt has enjoyed a prominent home-field advantage since building its permanent home known as “The RioT,” boasting a dominant 114-28-45 mark in the world-class venue since opening in October, 2008.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Eintracht Frankfurt – Tues., July 10, 2018
Game Notes for Tuesday’s RSL v. Eintracht Frankfurt Game Available Online
The link to the Adobe PDF version of the Game Guide in advance of Tuesday’scontest between Real Salt Lake and Eintracht Frankfurt is available HERE. If you have any problems obtaining the document, would prefer to receive it as an attachment, or are seeking more information on the match, please contact Matt Gaschk in the RSL Communications Department via email atmgaschk@RSL.com.
Real Salt Lake returns a 20-player core amongst the 30-man roster for its 2018 campaign, entering the club’s first full year under Petke and staff. International playmaker Albert Rusnák (Slovakia) and wingers Joao Plata (Ecuador) andJefferson Savarino (Venezuela) each sparked the club’s late-season attack last year, while the quintet of USA U-20 CONCACAF Champions – DF Justen Glad, DF Danny Acosta, FW Brooks Lennon, MF Sebastian Saucedo and 2018 signing DF Aaron Herrera, all RSL Academy products – are joined by fellow homegrowns Jordan Allen, Jose Hernandez and Corey Baird.
Veterans returning for 2018 include DF Marcelo Silva, who joined the club in August; 11-year icon Tony Beltran, fifth-year MF Luke Mulholland, third-year MF Sunday Stephen, and experienced Major League Soccer players in L. Silva and DF David Horst. Joining that group are a trio of players who matriculated to the first team from the 2017 USL regular-season champion Real Monarchs: MF Nick Besler, GK Connor Sparrow and a Salt Lake City native, DF Taylor Peay.
Other new arrivals for 2018 include: Spanish FW Alfredo Ortuño; a pair of young American DFs returning from Europe in Adam Henley and Shawn Barry; 19-year old dual-national MF Pablo Ruiz, the Argentine youth international who could play for Chile’s senior side; accomplished veteran MFDamir Kreilach; reserve GK Alex Horwath, another American returning stateside from Europe; and rookie FW Ricky Lopez-Espin (Creighton).
Officially opening just a few months ago, the Zions Bank Real Academytraining campus in Herriman, Utah is located just 20 minutes southwest of Rio Tinto Stadium. The $78 million facility, which has seen the first of five grass “TORO Fields” available in recent weeks – serves as the daily training home for both of the club’s men’s professional teams – RSL (MLS) and Real Monarchs (USL) – while centralizing the club’s U-19, U-17 and future U-15 development academy youth selections under the guidance of Academy Director (and 2017-18 USSDA Coach of the Year) Martin Vasquez.
The Herriman facility provides adjacencies for an on-site charter school in conjunction with the Jordan School District, which opened last August, focusing on STEM disciplines (Science/Technology/Engineerin
Last December in North Logan, Utah, RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen christened the opening of the first of a half-dozen regional training centers across Utah and Arizona to be built in the next 2-3 years. Each $5 million RTC houses a classroom, as well as an indoor and outdoor field, dedicated to fulfilling a curriculum consistent with the club’s vision and mission for youth soccer training and education, and the continued development of both recreational and competitive pre-Academy (ages 7-14) initiatives across Utah and Arizona.
REAL SALT LAKE’S INTERNATIONAL HISTORY:
Real Salt Lake famously hosted its first European visitor back in August, 2006, when world power Real Madrid (SPN) visited the Beehive State, RSL falling 0-2 at Rice-Eccles Stadium on the University of Utah campus on August 12, 2006, not coincidentally the date of Rio Tinto Stadium’s groundbreaking. The following Summer, RSL downed Everton (ENG), 2-0, with the Liverpool-based side returning to Utah for the 2009 MLS All-Star Game in Sandy, the Toffees winning via penalty kick shootout, 4-3, to decide a 1-1 draw at the conclusion of 90 minutes.
RSL’s history against international clubs at Rio Tinto Stadium is dominated by CONCACAF Champions League play; however, numerous friendlies have existed against Mexican, Argentine, Jamaican, Chilean, Costa Rican, Italian and English teams, mostly at Rice-Eccles Stadium during the 14-year old club’s early years. The records:
With 1-2 losses at home each of the last two Summers to international powers Manchester United (ENG) and Inter Milan (ITA), RSL’s all-time record is now 18-11-10 (W-L-T) all-time in international contests, with a +13 goal differential (55 goals for / 42 goals against) … In meaningful int’l competition, RSL is 11-5-6 (34 GF / 22 GA) …
In the Rio Tinto Stadium era, RSL is 10-3-4 at home (13-7-8 overall) vs. visiting international squads (does NOT include league matches against visiting Canadian teams, against whom RSL is now 15-2-4 (38/15 goal +/-); however, the record DOES include CCL series v. Columbus and Toronto)