HERRIMAN, Utah (Saturday, April 16, 2022) – Real Salt Lake (3-1-3, 12 pts, t-2nd West) hits the road once again this weekend, playing at historic Yankee Stadium on Easter Sunday morning against Defending MLS Cup Champions New York City FC. The trip’s 11:00 a.m. MT kickoff marks the earliest in RSL’s 18-year history.
Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni’s side kicks off a two-game MLS road run and a schedule stint that sees three of its next four away, closing out an injury-filled season-opening stanza with six out of nine games on the road prior to the Club’s April 30 home match against long-time rival LA Galaxy.
However, RSL does host Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC next Wednesday, April 20 in the Third Round of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. MT kickoff is included for RSL Season Ticket Members as Bonus Game A, with ongoing general public on-sale at www.RSL.com/tickets.
Sunday’s match will be broadcast locally on KMYU (2.2 over-the-air, 643/22 Comcast, 12 Satellite). The match is also available to stream via the KSL TV & KSL Sports apps, as well as via KSLSports.com. Fans can also follow via ESPN700 AM radio. Spanish-speaking fans can tune in on KBMG Latino 106.3 FM, La Gran D 102.3 FM and KTUB 1600 AM for the local radio broadcast.
Real Salt Lake @ New York City FC
Yankee Stadium; The Bronx, New York
Sunday, April 17 at 11:00 a.m. MT
Game Notes for Sunday’s RSL @ NYCFC game Available Online
The Adobe PDF version of the 2022 MLS Game Guide in advance of Sunday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and NYCFC 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 email@example.com
2022 Records: Real Salt Lake (3-1-3, 12 pts, t-2nd West); NYCFC (1-3-1, 4 points, 12th East)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: RSL owns a 4-1-0 (W-L-T) all-time mark against New York City FC, with a 1-1-0 mark in its two previous visits to Yankee Stadium. In its first-ever trip to face NYCFC, RSL emerged with a dramatic 3-2 road victory, scoring three goals in 15 minutes to erase an early second-half deficit. Former “Cityzen” Jack Harrison opened the game’s account in the 56th minute, before RSL saw Yura Movsisyan (59’), Burrito Martinez (67’) and a Felix Brillant own goal (74’) give the Claret-and-Cobalt a 3-1 lead entering the final quarter-hour. Spanish icon David Villa cut the margin to one, but RSL captured the full three points. RSL DF Justen Glad started and played the full 90, the only member of the Club’s current roster to participate in that match. That game marked Glad’s 15th career MLS start, of the 156 he has now amassed.
The April 2018 trip to The Bronx saw RSL suffer an 0-4 loss in Yankee Stadium as part of an early-season five-game road losing streak, the worst of the lot that saw Mike Petke’s team drop each of those road matches – including four on the East Coast – by multiple goals. NYCFC rode three first-half goals from Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (12), current metronome Maxi Moralez (30) and Jo Inge Berget (41), while a second-half strike by Ebenezer Ofori (70) completed the home win. RSL’s Glad (90’) and current Captain Damir Kreilach (77’) each started that match, while Argentine MF Pablo Ruiz came off the bench for the final 32 minutes to make his MLS and RSL debuts.
STORYLINES TO WATCH:
RSL East Coast History
In the Eastern Time Zone, RSL is now just 14-40-20 all-time / all competitions, outscored in the previous 74 matches by an aggregate score of 142-73. Five of the 14 wins and 16 of the 73 goals have come in New England, with RSL at .500 or better in NE (5-4-3), PHI (1-1-4), NYCFC (1-1-0) and Cincinnati (1-0-0). RSL owns two wins or fewer in the other seven ET cities – Toronto (2-5-2), Columbus (2-10-2), NYRB (1-6-4), D.C. (1-7-3), Montreal (0-4-0), Orlando (0-1-2) and Atlanta (0-1-0). Will Sunday at Yankee Stadium be different?
Casey At The Bat / Monument Park
Sunday will mark RSL’s ninth all-time MLS game played on a baseball diamond, with the 1-1-0 (W-L-T) mark at Yankee Stadium part of an all-time 2-4-2 record in games played across an infield. When RSL entered MLS in 2005, D.C. United shared RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. with the MLB Nationals through the 2007 season. During that period, RSL posted an 0-2-1 mark in the Nation’s Capital. From 2008-10, RSL faced the Kansas City Wizards at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City, Kansas, posting a 1-1-1 mark against the team now known as Sporting KC.
NYCFC have opened 2022 with its collective focus squarely set on CONCACAF Champions League, the Defending MLS Cup Champions dropping the 2022 CCL Semifinal series 2-4 on aggregate to Seattle. NYCFC could have advanced Wednesday with a 2-0 win at Red Bull Arena, but Seattle’s first-half away goal effectively moved the Sounders forward with Mexican power Pumas UNAM hosting the first leg of the 2022 CCL Final later this month. NYCFC Playmaker Maxi Moralez and DF Maxime Chanot each missed Wednesday’s contest, with their availability for Sunday against RSL still undetermined.
Sunday will mark just the second occasion in RSL’s 18-year history that the Club will play on Easter Sunday, winning its previous road contest in 2015 at San Jose. That day, iconic playmaker Javier Morales provided the game’s lone goal with a stunning free kick in the 44th minute, blasting his initial offering off the wall but quickly slamming the rebound from 30 yards out past Earthquakes ‘keeper David Bingham. RSL GK Nick Rimando needed to make just two saves to post the clean sheet.
On Easter Weekend, RSL has played nine other contests, posting an overall 6-1-2 (W-L-T) record, including a 2-1-0 mark away from home. RSL won away in 2017 – 2-1 at Rocky Mountain Cup rival Colorado, with both Yura Movsisyan and Brooks Lennon striking in the 85th and 88th minutes to steal three road points – and away again in 2019, a 3-0 Friday night victory in the Club’s lone visit to Cincinnati that saw an Albert Rusnák brace surround Sam Johnson’s second-ever RSL goal. RSL suffered its lone Easter Weekend road loss back on March 30, 2018 in a 1-3 decision at Toronto, a game that saw Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva and Damir Kreilach each start and play the full 90 minutes.
Open Cup on Horizon
RSL kicks off its 2022 foray into this year’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, as America’s longest-running tournament resumes after 2020 and 2021 cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Wednesday’s match will be played at Rio Tinto Stadium against USL League One entrant Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC at 7:30 p.m. MT. RSL boasts an all-time 6-1-1 home mark against lower-division opponents in the Open Cup, losing only in 2012 to Minnesota Stars (NASL) before a then-record fourth-round crowd of 17,212.
Real Salt Lake’s entire 2022 Major League Soccer roster is eligible for Wednesday’s contest, with any changes – i.e., Real Monarchs (MLS NEXT Pro) additions – required to be submitted to U.S. Soccer prior to Monday, April 18 at 1:00 p.m. MT.
Injury Bug Slowly Subsiding / Squad Rotation
Real Salt Lake boss Pablo Mastroeni has used 23 players this season, including seven RSL debutants in 2022 … RSL Captain Damir Kreilach started Saturday for the first time since the Feb. 27 opener at Houston, while FW Rubio Rubin – who appeared in all 34 matches a year ago – has logged just 11 minutes this season off the bench three weeks ago at Kansas City. DF Justen Glad resumed full training this week after pulling a hamstring on March 19 at home against Nashville, while FW Bobby Wood – who also suffered a hamstring injury the day before RSL suffered its only loss of the year, 0-1 at Kansas City on March 26 – resumed training this week as well. DF Aaron Herrera has made just two appearances for RSL this season – both off the bench, both under 25 minutes – after leading the team with 11 assists a year ago.
Seven players have made their RSL debuts this season, including Bundesliga loanee Sergio Cordova & MLS free agents Scott Caldwell and Johan Kappelhof, homegrowns Jaziel Orozco & Bode Davis, MLS SuperDraft pick Jasper Löffelsend and Monarchs college free agent Pierre Reedy, a roster hardship addition prior to April 2 at Colorado.
Captain Damir Kreilach scored his 43rd career RSL/MLS reg. season goal on Saturday against Toronto, leaving him three goals shy of matching former Claret-and-Cobalt fan favorite Joao Plata for third place among the Club’s all-time scoring register (46 goals). Costa Rican legend Alvaro Saborio leads with 63 goals in his illustrious RSL career, followed by Javier Morales at 49 goals.
RSL DF Aaron Herrera is poised to possibly make his 100th career MLS regular-season appearance Sunday in New York City, the second Homegrown to surpass the century mark (DF Justen Glad, 161 games / 156 starts). Herrera has made 99 appearances for RSL since his RSL Academy / Univ. of New Mexico career, including 94 starts. In that time, he has scored one goal (July 17, 2021 at LAFC) and notched 16 assists, including a team-high 11 last season.
Three Consecutive Season-Opening Sellouts Quite Rare
Back on March 19 at Rio Tinto Stadium, 20,036 fans attended to give the Utah side its first back-to-back 20k crowds since late Summer 2016, and its first March with 40,000+ tickets sold since the 2013 and 2015 seasons. With RSL selling out the RioT Saturday against Toronto for 20,136 fans, it marked the first three-game sellout streak to open a season since 2015, and only the second ever. In that fateful non-Playoff 2015 season, RSL sold out 11 of the Club’s 17 home reg. season contests, including seven straight from late June through mid-September.