SANDY, UT; NEW YORK and MEXICO CITY (Thursday, June 30, 2022) – Real Salt Lake, Major League Soccer (MLS) and LIGA MX announced today that Leagues Cup Showcase will add a trio of feature matches this September in Utah, Cincinnati and Nashville. For the first time in RSL history, the Claret-and-Cobalt will host Mexican power Atlas FC 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.
“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 22nd full month 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."
In addition to the RSL v. Atlas contest, FC Cincinnati (MLS) will receive Club Deportivo Guadalajara (Liga MX), while Nashville SC (MLS) will host Club América (Liga MX). These three matches join the previously announced August 3 doubleheader in Los Angeles featuring LA Galaxy (MLS) vs. Chivas and LAFC (MLS) vs. Club América. The late September match schedule is as follows:
Date Game Time (ET) Stadium
Wed., Sept. 21 FC Cincinnati vs. Club Deportivo Guadalajara TBD TQL Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Wed., Sept. 21 Nashville SC vs. Club América TBD GEODIS Park, Nashville, TN
Thu., Sept. 22 Real Salt Lake vs. Atlas FC TBD Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT
Real Salt Lake, FC Cincinnati and Nashville SC Season Ticket Members will have priority access to purchase tickets through an exclusive presale. Tickets will be made available to the public as follows:
· Real Salt Lake vs. Atlas FC: On-Sale SOON! Click _HERE__ for Ticket Details & Updates_
· FC Cincinnati vs. Club Deportivo Guadalajara: Monday, July 18 at 9:00 a.m. ET via SeatGeek
· Nashville SC vs. Club América: Thursday, July 21 at 10:00 a.m. ET via Ticketmaster
An MLS club with a deep-rooted history, Real Salt Lake joined the League in 2005, debuted its scenic Rio Tinto Stadium in 2008, hoisted the Philip F. Anschutz trophy as an MLS Cup champion (2009), and has participated in important Cup finals, including the U.S. Open Cup (2013) and the Concacaf Champions League (2010/11).
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.
This year’s Leagues Cup Showcase will serve as a preview to the highly anticipated 2023 Leagues Cup, the annual month-long official tournament between MLS and LIGA MX. All 47 MLS and LIGA MX clubs will participate next summer, with the tournament champion earning automatic qualification for the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) Round of 16. In addition, clubs finishing second and third in Leagues Cup starting in 2023 will qualify for the Opening Round of the CCL.
MLS and LIGA MX – which entered a partnership in 2018 rooted in the on-field rivalry as well as the true spirit of collaboration off the field – will pause their respective seasons for one month during the Summer of 2023 to play Leagues Cup, showcasing the soccer infrastructure and capabilities in the region in the years leading into the 2026 FIFA World Cup in the U.S., Canada and Mexico – the first World Cup to feature 48 countries.
Additional information on the September matches, including broadcast information and media accreditation, will be announced at a later date.
The Leagues Cup Showcase, sponsored by BODYARMOR, will be broadcast on Univision and ESPN platforms in the United States, and TUDN platforms in Mexico.