Real Salt Lake Host World Power Manchester United

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake takes on Manchester United

SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, March 21, 2017)  – Rio Tinto Stadium and Real Salt Lake will host iconic and legendary international power Manchester United – winners of a record 20 top-flight titles in England (including 13 in the Premier League era) and three European championships – on Monday, July 17 (evening kickoff TBA), RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen announced today.

“Our fans have been incredibly supportive since our inception in 2005 and they deserve the opportunity to see some of the world’s best on our Rio Tinto Stadium field,” Hansen said, reiterating that the club’s Herriman Complex will provide a training destination for many of the world’s best going forward.  “The Manchester United club is synonymous with the beautiful game around the globe, and to have them visit our great State to play against RSL is the culmination of an amazing effort consistent with our vision for Real Salt Lake.”

For the second consecutive Summer, Real Salt Lake faces a European side at the world-class Utah venue, with tickets initially available for purchaseexclusively to RSL/Monarchs “Royalty” Season Ticket Members starting next Tuesday, March 28, at 10:00 a.m. MT. Tickets start at just $50, increasing in value depending on location and available hospitality packages, details of which will be revealed in coming days. (Pro-rated 15-game 2017 “Royalty” memberships remain on sale; please visit or call 844.Real.Tix for more information).

Presented in part by the Utah Sports Commission, the Red Devils are making their first trip to Utah, joining a list of top-flight international clubs to visit the Beehive State to face RSL. Manchester United follows 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.

“On behalf of the Utah Sports Commission, this is an exciting day for the great State of Utah, which we refer to as the ‘State of Sport,’” said Utah Sports Commission President & CEO Jeff Robbins, whose office has worked closely with RSL and others to attract high-profile events to the Beehive State. “Bringing the eyes of the world to focus on RSL and soccer in Utah via such a global brand as Manchester United testifies to the aspiration and vision that Dell Loy Hansen espouses for our community.”

Managed by Jose Mourinho, regarded as one of the most accomplished managers in world soccer, Manchester United features a star-studded lineup that includes this season’s major acquisitions – forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielder Paul Pogba – as well as club icons forward Wayne Rooney and midfielder Michael Carrick and other recognized internationals in goalkeeper David de Gea, midfielders Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini and defenders Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind.

Mourinho’s Manchester United men will play five games in five cities this Summer, facing Real Salt Lake prior to participation in the 2017 International Champions Cup presented by Heineken. In the ICC, Manchester United will play Manchester City (Thurs., July 20;  location TBA), Real Madrid C.F. in Santa Clara, California (Sun., July 23) and FC Barcelona in Landover, Maryland (Wed., July 26) in the fifth year of the tourney, organized by Relevent Sports. In the Red Devils’ previous two visits to the United States, the club has welcomed more than half a million supporters to games across the country, where United has over eight million followers.

This year’s two-week tour forms part of the club’s preparations for the 2017/18 Premier League campaign, with the Red Devils’ long-standing relationship with the U.S. having seen the club make 14 previous visits to the country facing American and Mexican sides, as well as a host of clubs from across Europe.  United first visited America in 1950 as part of a close-season tour, playing against local clubs.

Speaking of the summer plans, United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, said: “Visiting North America will give the team the best possible preparation for the new season, using top-class training facilities and playing in some great stadiums. We have witnessed first-hand the passion and support for the club in the US in recent years, so naturally it is something that everybody is very much looking forward to this summer.”

Manchester United is one of the most popular and successful sports teams in the world, playing one of the most popular spectator sports on Earth. Throughout its 139-year heritage, it has won 65 trophies (a record 20 League Titles, a joint-record 12 FA Cups, 5 League Cups and a record 21 FA Community Shields; MUFC has also won three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup; in 1998–99, the club became the first in the history of English football to achieve the treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League) to become England’s most successful club ever, enabling it to develop the world’s leading sports brand and a global community of over 659 million followers. The club’s large, passionate community provides Manchester United with a worldwide platform to generate significant revenue from multiple sources, including sponsorship, merchandising, product licensing, new media & mobile, broadcasting and match day.

Real Salt Lake famously hosted its first European visitor back in August, 2006, when world power Real Madrid 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 with 22 of 23 all-time games of this type part of CCL competition; however, numerous friendlies have existed against Mexican, Argentine, Jamaican, Chilean and English teams, mostly at Rice-Eccles Stadium during the 13-year old club’s early years. The records:

With last Summer’s 1-2 loss at home to Italy’s Inter Milan, RSL’s all-time record is now 18-10-10 (W-L-T) all-time in international contests, with a +14 goal differential (55 goals for / 41 goals against) … In meaningful int’l competition, RSL is 11-5-6 (34 GF / 22 GA) …

In the Rio Tinto Stadium era, RSL is 13-7-8 vs. visiting international squads (does NOT include league matches against visiting Canadian teams, against whom RSL is now 13-2-3 (33/14 goal +/-); however, the record DOES include CCL series v. Columbus and Toronto) …

The complete historical rundown, with friendlies against international teams in RED and CCL games in blue (European teams in BOLD):

Real Salt Lake recently kicked off its 13th Major League Soccer season in 2017, the Utah side buoyed by a passionate fan base boasting nearly 15,000 season ticket holders at its Rio Tinto Stadium home in Sandy, where the “Claret-and-Cobalt” has enjoyed a most pronounced home-field advantage in Major League Soccer, posting an impressive 97-22-39 mark in the building since its opening in October, 2008.

In search of hardware, RSL seeks to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs for the ninth time in 10 years this season, a remarkable run among Major League Soccer’s elite that includes an MLS Cup 2009 title, the state of Utah’s only major professional championship in the last 40 years. Recent campaigns have seen RSL advance to another MLS Cup title game, losing in 2013 via a penalty-kick shootout in Kansas City, where the 2015 squad also dropped a Semifinal match in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. RSL lost an Open Cup Final at home in 2013, the one-goal loss to D.C. United a bitter reminder of the Club’s groundbreaking (and ultimately heartbreaking) run to the CONCACAF Champions League Final in 2011, when the club became the first-ever – and still only – U.S. side to progress within one goal of advancing to the FIFA Club World Cup.

Opening in late Summer, 2017, Real Salt Lake’s regional training campus arrives in Herriman, Utah, approximately 20 minutes southwest of Rio Tinto Stadium. The $60 million facility will serve as the daily training home beginning in 2018 for both of the club’s professional teams – RSL (MLS) and Real Monarchs (USL) – while centralizing the club’s U-18, U-16 and future U-14 development academy youth selections. The Herriman facility will provide adjacencies for an on-site charter school opening in Fall, 2017, with STEM disciplines (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) for nearly 300 boys and girls.

Late last year in North Logan, Utah, RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen broke ground on 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 7-12) initiatives across Utah and Arizona.

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