On April 18, Real Salt Lake signed 15 new athletes and partners to its RSL Unified team at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. The athletes were joined by RSL President John Kimball, Mountainland Supply President Brandon Johnson, and Special Olympics Utah President, Scott Weaver in celebrating the latest iteration of the RSL Unified team.
The day began with the athletes officially signing their RSL Unified contracts with Kimball and RSL General Manager, Elliot Fall.
“RSL Unified is one of the most powerful organizations we as a Club have participated in over the last couple of years because it's so meaningful to the kids, to the families, the volunteers and us as an organization,” said Kimball.
After each athlete was recognized in front of the crowd on hand at Zions Bank Stadium, the athletes were taken into the locker room where they were shown their locker and received all their team gear.
“I'm so glad I made that team and I'm so happy I got to see my jersey hanging in the locker room,” said new RSL Unified athlete, Adam Siyavong.
“It’s amazing how much they have grown this program for people with disabilities," RSL Unified Head Coach Jenna Holland said.
“Having that first team experience, traveling with the first team, the locker room, the same kits that the first team wears on the field, these players, they never thought they would get this kind of opportunity. So I really want to thank those that have put all this together and all the programs and we're lucky to have Real Salt Lake and the support they give us.”
After the locker room experience, the RSL Unified athletes watched the rest of first team training and then met with the players.
Much of what makes RSL Unified possible is through the help of RSL partner, Mountainland Supply, who sponsors the team.
“A few years ago when we were able to meet with RSL and we're talking about all the different types of partnerships that we could have with RSL, RSL Unified came to us and at that moment we went for it,” Johnson said.
“This was just one of those things that we knew that we had to be a part of and that we wanted to be one of the great partners with RSL in this. It's been such a phenomenal thing, just to see the excitement on everyone’s faces.”
Last season, RSL Unified went undefeated throughout the year and this year’s team will look to repeat that same success. RSL Unified's first match this season will be away against Houston on May 6 against Houston Dynamo. Fans can follow along with RSL Unified this season at: https://www.rsl.com/community/rsl-unified