With the full regular season schedule for Real Salt Lake’s 16th season in Major League Soccer now official, here are some highlighted matches at Rio Tinto Stadium to look forward to. But, as the entirety of RSL Nation knows, any night at the RioT is a good night.
RSL will welcome New York Red Bulls to Sandy on March 7 for its home-opening contest. RSL enters its 16th season in Major League Soccer having earned a 6-1-8 record all-time in home-opening matches dating back to its inaugural season in 2005 and is 5-1-5 all-time in home-openers held at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake is 7-6-9 all-time against the Red Bulls, including a 6-0-5 home record. RSL finished the 2019 regular season with a 12-4-1 home record, good for the second-most home wins in MLS. March 7 cannot come soon enough as the club looks to build upon its league-best 110-28-83 home record in front of the best fans in MLS.
Champions are in Town
In 2019, RSL bowed out of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs at the hands of the eventual champions from Seattle. On April 25, RSL will welcome the Sounders to Rio Tinto Stadium as it looks to avenge its playoff loss. The last time Seattle visited Utah, RSL walked away 3-0 victors in mid-August. RSL has amassed a 11-10-4 overall record over the Sounders since 2009, including an 8-1-2 record over the Sounders in Sandy.
Miami Returns to MLS
Inter Miami CF. One of two expansion clubs to enter the league in 2020, Miami visits Rio Tinto Stadium on April 29 – just a few days after Seattle visits Utah. Expansion clubs are always fun to watch considering their ‘newness’ to the league. Miami is without a Head Coach and have 14 players announced to its expansion roster. Meaning, the team will have to hit the ground running at the start of preseason and have to implement its style of play very quickly in order to be successful in MLS. RSL Nation will get its first glimpse of Miami during the club’s first midweek match of the season right after facing the defending champions.
The French are Coming
Maybe this isn’t a match that most people would pick, but on August 15, the Montreal Impact will visit Rio Tinto Stadium for the first time under Head Coach Thierry Henry. With the French legend at the helm, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the French-Canadian club as he looks to reverse the club’s fortunes from a season ago. But, regardless of who is in charge of an opposing club, we’ll take Freddy Juarez any day.
RSL may have one of the toughest finishes to the regular season should history mean anything in 2020 as the club visits San Jose on September 19 and Portland on September 26. But the most intriguing match of the year will be at Rio Tinto Stadium against LAFC on October 4 for Decision Day. For the first time since 2017, RSL will finish the regular season at home against the 2019 Shield Winners who it has failed to beat in the regular season. With potential playoff berths and seeding on the line, the RioT will be rocking ahead of the payoffs in Sandy.