SANDY, Utah – With today’s announcement of the 2013 Major League Soccer regular season schedule, Real Salt Lake learned the 34-game slate that will mark its ninth campaign of MLS play. Real Salt Lake will begin the upcoming season on Sunday, March 3 on the road against 2012 MLS Supporters Shield winner San Jose Earthquakes, at Buck Shaw Stadium on the campus of Santa Clara University. Kickoff is slated for 8:00 p.m. MT; as with the entire 2013 schedule, local television windows and channel assignments will be announced in the near future.
RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis’ team kicks off the season with five of its first seven games on the road, travelling cross-country in Week Two to RFK Stadium in the Nation’s Capital to face D.C. United, one of two occasions of the year (May 11 @ Montreal and May 19 @ Chivas) that sees RSL on opposite coasts in the same week. That May 11 trip to Quebec is preceded by a mid-week trip to Foxborough, Mass., to face the New England Revolution, one of two four-day road “doubles” of the season (Aug. 17 @ Los Angeles & August 21 @ Portland).
As previously announced, on Saturday, March 16, RSL will host the first of its 17 regular season home contests at Rio Tinto Stadium with the lone Utah appointment of the Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup against rival Colorado Rapids with a 3:30 p.m. MT kickoff. Currently, the only ways for fans to guarantee their seats on opening night in Sandy is to Join the Pride by becoming an RSL Season Ticket Holder or purchasing a Pride Pack, an RSL mini plan package, by visiting the "TICKETS" section of www.RealSaltLake.com or calling 801-727-2700. Pride Packs and Group packages are available starting next Monday, January 14th. Real Salt Lake will announce details for single-game ticket availability in the upcoming weeks.
Following the extended glut of road matches out of the gate, RSL will see 7 out of its next 10 games from April 20 to June 22 at its Rio Tinto Stadium home. The initial three-game home stand – against Chivas USA, Los Angeles Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps – is followed by the aforementioned mid-May jaunt through New England, Montreal and Chivas, and bracketed by a four-game home stand with Chicago, San Jose, Los Angeles and Seattle visiting Utah between May 25 and June 22.
All 323 regular season matches will be televised live – 87 by national U.S. network partners ESPN, NBC, and Univision in the United States. Real Salt Lake will be featured on three national broadcasts, all coming on NBC Sports Network (April 6 @ Colorado, Aug. 30 v. Portland & Sept. 13 @ Seattle). All non-national TV games will be broadcast locally and/or via subscription to Direct Kick and MLSsoccer.com’s live streaming package; Real Salt Lake will announce details for its 2013 local broadcast schedule in the upcoming weeks.
The 2013 MLS Regular Season will conclude Sunday, Oct. 27, followed by the MLS Cup Playoffs and the championship game – MLS Cup 2013 – on Dec. 7 or 8, hosted by one of the two finalists. From First Kick to MLS Cup, the calendar footprint of the 2013 season is 281 days – the longest in League history (as is the regular season, at 246 days).
RSL/MLS 2013 Regular Season Schedule Notes
- Each of the League’s 19 clubs will play 34 matches, 17 at home and 17 away, during 35 weeks in this, Major League Soccer’s 18th season. Within each conference, each club will play the same number of in-conference and out-of-conference games, following the competition format announced on Nov. 20, 2011, and followed a year ago.
- MLS has “thinned out” its regular-season schedule during FIFA fixture dates (March 22-26, June 4, June 7-11, June 14-18, Sept. 6-10 & Oct. 11-15, along with Nov. 14-20 if needed) as well as the CONCACAF Gold Cup competition (July 7-26).
- Real Salt Lake has five bye weekends during the season – June 15, July 6, Sept. 6, Oct. 12 & Oct. 26 (Saturday match-dates listed) – three of which coincide with the previously listed FIFA windows. RSL’s non-FIFA bye weeks come on Saturday, July 6 and again on Saturday, October 26, the final weekend of the 2013 MLS regular season.
- The “Holiday Road” will again lead to Rio Tinto Stadium, as RSL will host games on Memorial Day weekend (Sat., May 25 v. Chicago Fire), Independence Day (Wed., July 3 v. Philadelphia Union), Pioneer Day weekend (Sat., July 20 v. Sporting Kansas City) and Labor Day weekend (Fri., August 30 v. Portland Timbers).
- Again breaking with past tradition of pivotal, late-season showdowns, Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids will end their annual Subaru Rocky Mountain Cup rivalry by the middle of summer. The series, again a three-game slate, includes games on March 16 in Sandy, April 6 in suburban Denver and the RMC finale on Aug. 3 in Commerce City, CO; with RSL seeking to capture the fan-created regional honor for a seventh consecutive season.
- Only six of RSL’s 34 regular-season affairs come after Labor Day Weekend, hopefully allowing health and rest to pervade the RSL locker room in anticipation of what can be a compact and grueling postseason slate in November.
- Tentative windows for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are midweek affairs, the 16 U.S.-based MLS teams entering the tourney in late May, with the Centennial-edition Final to be played in early October. The full format and dates for U.S. Soccer’s oldest competition will be announced in the near future.
Click here for the full 2013 MLS schedule. As dates are finalized for the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the 2012/13 CONCACAF Champions League tournaments, changes to the 2013 RSL calendar will be reflected on the “SCHEDULE” page of www.RealSaltLake.com.