The season begins on March 3rd
The first 90 of the season is at Dallas before returning to Rio Tinto Stadium for their first of 17 home games this season. This season will be the ninth time in the last ten years that Real Salt Lake opens on the road. Head Coach Mike Petke faces his first full season in charge of the claret & cobalt and welcomes his former team, New York Red Bulls, to Rio Tinto on March 17th. RSL will have no Sunday home games this year and only 4-midweek games (April 11th at NYCFC, May 30th vs Houston Dynamo, July 4th vs SKC, and August 15th at LAFC). Real Salt Lake will host two of three games against rival Colorado Rapids on April 21st and July 21st with the third game being played at Colorado on August 25th.
As always, you’ll be able to catch every game on our sister station ESPN 700.
Tickets are available for the March 10th home opener at www.RSL.com or 844-Real-Tix.
Here’s the full press release:
REAL SALT LAKE UNVEILS
2018 MLS REGULAR-SEASON SLATE
2018 Season Tickets, Incl. March 10 Opener v. LAFC at Rio Tinto Stadium, NOW On Sale;
Traditional Fireworks on Independence and Pioneer Day Weekends
Highlight Middle of Season;
Saturday-Dominant Schedule Includes ZERO Sunday
and Two Midweek Home Matches
SANDY, Utah (Thursday, January 4, 2018) – In conjunction with Major League Soccer, today Real Salt Lake announced its 2018 regular-season schedule, unveiling the club’s 34-game league slate for its 14th MLS season.
The 17-game home calendar features hot-blooded rivalries for the club’s annual Fireworks games to celebrate Independence Day (Wednesday, July 4 v. Sporting Kansas City) and Pioneer Day (Saturday, July 21 against Colorado Rapids). Back-to-back home games in mid-March highlight the early-season portion of 2018, with expansion LAFC arriving on Sat., March 10 at 1:30 p.m. MT in a nationally-televised home opener followed up by RSL Head Coach Mike Petke – now entering his first full season – welcoming his former club, the New York Red Bulls, on Saturday, March 17 in a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The 2018 RSL season – which starts on March 3 at Dallas and ends in late October – boasts a Saturday-heavy home slate, with ZERO Sunday home games – and includes an RSL bye in the 23-team league on the Sun., Oct. 28 MLS “Decision Day” finales – and just two non-holiday midweek home contests (Wed., May 30 v. Houston, and Thurs., Oct. 18 v. New England).
As previously announced, Real Salt Lake opens Rio Tinto Stadium against Western Conference expansion side Los Angeles FC (“LAFC”) at 1:30 p.m. MT on Saturday, March 10. Visit www.RSL.com or call 844.Real.Tix now to access 2018 Season Tickets and Flex Vouchers. Individual seats for the March 10 opener, starting at $25 and up depending on location, in the heavily-anticipated kickoff go on sale this Monday, Jan. 8, along with 2018 RSL “mini-packs.” The remainder of the 2018 RSL slate will be available on an individual basis starting in February.
Rio Tinto Stadium continues to provide a distinct home-field advantage for Real Salt Lake, with the club running its all-time Major League Soccer regular season record to 87-21-43 since opening the stadium on October 9, 2008. In home openers, RSL is now 5-0-8 all-time, with a 4-0-5 record at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The 2018 schedule sees RSL hosting five Eastern Conference sides with a combined road record of 6-22-14 on the Wasatch Front – as the New York Red Bulls (March 17), D.C. United (May 12), Chicago Fire (Aug. 4), Montreal Impact (Aug. 11) and New England (Oct. 18) arrive on Utah visits.
Meanwhile, RSL travels East on six occasions, visiting new venues in Orlando, Fla., (Sun., May 6 at Orlando City Stadium) and Atlanta, Ga., (Sat., Sept. 22 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium) for the first time. This year, RSL also travels to face the defending MLS Cup Champions Toronto FC (Fri., March 30), makes its second-ever jaunt to NYCFC and Yankee Stadium (Wed., April 11), and also visits the Philadelphia Union (Sat., May 19) and Columbus Crew SC (Sat., June 30).
Each of Real Salt Lake’s 11 Western Conference foes will engage in a home-and-away series with RSL, with the club’s one additional game being played against rival Colorado Rapids (against whom RSL has won nine of the last 11 Rocky Mountain Cups). The fan-created “derby” series against Colorado will feature two of its three 2018 matches on the Wasatch at Rio Tinto Stadium – Sat., April 21 (7:00 p.m MT kick) and Sat., July 21 (8:00 p.m. MT kickoff for Pioneer Day Fireworks) – before looking to secure regional bragging rights on the road at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, August 25.
Real Salt Lake kicks off 2018 with three of its first five games at home, prior to a 6-week stretch from April 11 to May 26 that sees RSL play five of its next seven games away. Starting with a rare Memorial Day Weekend home game on Sat., May 30 against Houston, RSL plays eight of its next 12 MLS contests at home through mid-August, including the MLS hiatus observed in mid-June for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. As part of that stretch, RSL’s Independence Day spectacular against Sporting Kansas City on July 4 kicks off a run that sees the Claret-and-Cobalt host five of seven MLS matches at Rio Tinto Stadium, where the Utah-based side has enjoyed a prominent home-field advantage since building its permanent home in Sandy, boasting a dominant 105-26-44 mark in the world-class venue since opening in October, 2008.
Throughout an eight-month regular season that sees RSL observe three of four possible FIFA breaks (no games March 20-27, Sept. 4-1 and Oct. 9-16), the club will endure just two weeks that see it play three-games-in-eight-days: May 26 – June 2, as the Houston arrival is sandwiched between a trip to perennial Western elite Seattle and a return match against the very same Sounders; and June 30 – July 7, as the club’s trip to Columbus, Ohio, precedes back-to-back home games against Kansas City and Dallas.
The 2018 season will be the ninth time in the last 10 years that Real Salt Lake opens the regular season on the road (last year’s 0-0 home draw on March 4, 2017, with eventual MLS Cup Champion Toronto FC the lone exception), as RSL heads to Dallas carrying an eight-game unbeaten streak in MLS regular-season openers (5-0-3, win-loss-draw).
A road-heavy month of May sees RSL criss-cross the country twice to visit both coasts on back-to-back weekends, starting with an April 27 match at Vancouver followed by a May 6 visit to Orlando. The run of four road games in a span of five is broken up by a D.C. United tilt at Rio Tinto Stadium on Sat., May 12, before the team then heads to Philadelphia on May 19 and then May 26 at Seattle.
RSL’s lone three-game road trip of the year occurs in mid-August, as a trip to LAFC on Wednesday the 15th is followed by Saturday the 18th at Houston and Saturday the 25th at Colorado.
Real Salt Lake finished the 2017 season as one of the hottest teams in MLS, with an 8-3-4 W-L-D record over the final 15 matches, kickstarted by emphatic road wins at LA Galaxy (6-2) and Portland Timbers (4-1). With a mixture of youthful phenoms and savvy veterans, RSL was among the more exciting teams over the final half of the season and sets up for a dynamic squad under Petke’s guidance in 2018.
Real Salt Lake returns several players for its 2018 campaign, entering the club’s first full preseason under Petke and staff. International playmaker Albert Rusnák (Slovakia) and wingers Joao Plata (Ecuador) and Jefferson 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 DF Aaron Herrera, all RSL Academy products – are joined by fellow homegrowns Jordan Allen and Jose Hernandez.
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 MF Luis 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.
Wednesday, RSL announced the acquisition of Spanish FW Alfredo Ortuño, with other re-signings and new acquisitions expected to be completed prior to the 2018 MLS SuperDraft on Jan. 19 and the commencement of the club’s preseason on Mon., Jan 22 in Herriman, Utah.