SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022) – Ahead of this weekend’s Major League Soccer international break – which sees no fewer than six Real Salt Lake players represent their national teams – the Claret-and-Cobalt will host Mexican power Atlas FC at America First Field in Sandy as part of this year’s Leagues Cup Showcase, which serves as a preview to the highly-anticipated 2023 Leagues Cup between all 29 MLS and 18 Liga MX clubs next Summer. Tickets for Thursday’s RSL v Atlas FC match in Sandy, Utah (8:00 p.m. MT) remain available to the general public via www.RSL.com/tickets.
With just two games remaining in Real Salt Lake’s 2022 MLS regular season – Sat., Oct. 1 at LA Galaxy and Sun., Oct. 9 vs. Portland Timbers FC on this year’s “Decision Day” – RSL (11-11-10, 43 pts., 8th West) is below the Western Conference playoff line for the first time this season, needing at least four and most likely the maximum six points from the two matches to qualify for the postseason for the 12th time in 15 years.
Atlas FC will become the ninth Mexican opponent to visit Utah and appear opposite Real Salt Lake, which has competed against Monarcas Morelia, Santos Laguna, Cruz Azul, Club America, CD Guadalajara, Monterrey, Xolos de Tijuana and UANL Tigres a combined 16 times across international friendly or CONCACAF Champions League play, as well as the Leagues Cup 2019. All-time, RSL is just 3-6-4 (W-L-T) against Mexican visitors, while the Utah side owns an 18-12-11 overall international record. Both records include RSL’s home 1-0 loss to Tigres in 2019.
“Real Salt Lake is proud of our vast history of competing against international opponents, whether that be in CONCACAF Champions League, international friendlies or the 2019 Leagues Cup,” said RSL President John Kimball, nearing his 2nd full year at the Club’s business helm. “Welcoming Atlas FC in September to Utah for the 42nd RSL game against 30 different international opponents from 16 various countries will no doubt serve as a fantastic reward for our incredible supporters, who have long proven to value international pathways to prestigious regional hardware. We cannot wait to host this year’s Leagues Cup Showcase, and we look forward to providing Atlas a sense of the best Utah has to offer.”
Welcomed to Utah by RSL, MLS and the Utah Sports Commission, Atlas FC is the current LIGA MX Campeón de Campeones – the overall Mexican league champion – given the club’s back-to-back Apertura 2021 and Clausura 2022 season wins.
"We are very happy to be able to participate in Leagues Cup Showcase. The United States has always been a very important market to us, and we are pleased to join this great effort led by MLS and LIGA MX,” said Atlas FC Executive President José Riestra. “It is a privilege to be able to play in Salt Lake City against a team that has marked an era in MLS and hopefully we can continue to join forces to be able to satisfy our fans in the United States. It is a pleasure and an honor for Atlas to be able to participate in this match, which I am sure will be a success."
Several RSL players are scattered across the globe this week, as international duty has called for MF Diego Luna (USA U-20), DF Bryan Oviedo (Costa Rica), MF Braian Ojeda (Paraguay), FW Rubio Rubin (Guatemala), along with FW Jefferson Savarino & FW Sergio Cordova (both with Venezuela).
Real Salt Lake (MLS) v. Atlas FC (Liga MX) – Leagues Cup Showcase
America First Field, Sandy, UT
Thursday, Sept. 22 at 8:00 p.m. MT
Game Notes for Thursday’s RSL v ATLAS Match Available Online
The Adobe PDF version of the 2022 RSL Game Guide in advance of Thursday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Atlas FC (Mexico) can be found here. Media members looking to receive the document as an attachment or have further questions are asked to please contact Meg Van Dyk in RSL Communications via email at firstname.lastname@example.org