HERRIMAN, Utah (Tuesday, July 25, 2023) – Real Salt Lake continues its inaugural foray in the Leagues Cup this Wednesday at America First Field with the highly-anticipated return of Mexican power CF Monterrey to Utah soil. RSL’s second West 2 Group Stage match in Sandy kicks off at 7:30p MT, with tickets available at www.RSL.com/tickets. RSL took command of the group with Saturday’s dominant 3-0 win over esteemed MLS rival Seattle, as goals from FW Jefferson Savarino, FW Chicho Arango and FW Rubio Rubin supported a clean sheet for the Claret-and-Cobalt, despite playing the final 30 minutes with just 10 men following a red card to DF Marcelo Silva.
RSL arrives at Wednesday’s fixture in red-hot form, the Utah side unbeaten in its last 11 games played in Leagues Cup, MLS and Open Cup action during June & July – eight wins, three draws, with 25 RSL goals scored by nine different players. Dating back to April 8, RSL is unbeaten in 21 of its last 24 games across the trio of competitions (14 wins, seven draws), a run which includes numerous milestones, including a Club-record 11 consecutive road results. RSL has won three consecutive games at home for the first time since May 2022, with a combined 10-1 aggregate over MLS sides Seattle, New York Red Bulls and Orlando.
Throughout the last 100 days, RSL has played 16 of the 24 games on three or four days rest while navigating MLS and Open Cup action; during this period, RSL Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni and staff have seen 28 different players appear, RSL earning 8 wins and 6 draws against just 2 losses in these short rest / heavy rotation contests.
Wednesday’s kickoff against Monterrey starts at 7:30p MT on the Apple MLS Season Pass w/ Keith Costigan and Maurice Edu (ENG) & Jorge Perez-Navarro and Marcelo Balboa (SPN); for local coverage, tune in at 6:30p MT for KSL Radio pre-game w/ David James & Jay Nolly via www.KSLSports.com / 1280 AM / 97.5 FM and www.KSLNewsRadio.com / 1160 AM).
Real Salt Lake (10-7-7, 37 pts., t-2nd West MLS) looks to clinch advancement into the Leagues Cup 2023 Knockout Round Wednesday night against Monterrey, as a win, draw or loss by two or fewer goals would see the Utah side through to the single-elimination phase of the inaugural tournament, with the Round of 32 being played August 2-4, site/opponent TBD. The West 2 winner – possibly RSL – will play the runner-up from West 1, likely Portland Timbers (MLS) or Tigres UANL (Liga MX). The West 2 runner-up – possibly RSL – will play the West 3 winner, with León (Liga MX), Vancouver (MLS) and LA Galaxy (MLS) competing. Additional details regarding RSL’s participation in the highly-anticipated Leagues Cup 2023, which will occur from July 21 – August 19 this Summer, amidst RSL’s 19th campaign, can be obtained at www.LeaguesCup.com.
HOW WE GOT HERE
While RSL could not host any matches during the 2022 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, last year’s postseason qualification – the Claret-and-Cobalt’s fourth in the last five years, and its 12th in 15 seasons since 2008 – did clinch at least these TWO home matches at America First Field in Sandy against both Monterrey and Seattle for the 2023 Leagues Cup.
Last September, Real Salt Lake welcomed reigning LIGA MX Champion Atlas FC to Utah in the Leagues Cup “Showcase” as the 42nd match against 30 different international opponents from 16 various countries for the Claret-and-Cobalt since 2005. Atlas FC – which overcame an early and spectacular 78-yard laser from former homegrown DF Aaron Herrera for RSL – was the ninth Mexican opponent to visit Utah and appear opposite RSL, which has also competed against Monarcas Morelia, Santos Laguna, Cruz Azul, Club America, CD Guadalajara, Monterrey, Xolos de Tijuana and UANL Tigres a combined 17 times across international friendly or CONCACAF Champions League play, as well as the Leagues Cup 2019.
All-time, RSL is now just 3-7-4 (W-L-T) against Mexican visitors, while the Utah side owns an all-time 19-13-11 overall record in international competitions and/or friendlies. Both records include RSL’s home 1-0 loss to Tigres in 2019, as well as last year’s 1-2 loss to Atlas.
FAMILIAR FOES IN WEST GROUP 2 FOR RSL
Los Rayados visit Utah for the first time since April, 2011, when the storied Monterrey club defeated Real Salt Lake, 1-0, in that year’s CONCACAF Champions League Final. Twelve years since they last squared off, RSL will host CF Monterrey in the rematch on Wednesday. RSL secured a 2-2 tie in the first leg of that 2011 CCL series, but Rayados, thanks to a late first-half goal by Humberto Suazo, took the title with a 1-0 upset in Utah. Victor Manuel Vucetichwas the coach for Monterrey then, and returned to the club in 2022, although he is no longer the manager as Leagues Cup 2023 kicks off.
LEAGUES CUP KNOCKOUT SCHEDULE, IF NEEDED
Should RSL emerge as one of the two teams from West Group 2, advancing sides will compete in the single-game elimination Knockout Rounds, beginning with the Round of 32 on August 2-4 (16 matches), followed by the Round of 16 on August 6-8 (eight matches). The eight advancing teams will compete in the Quarterfinals from August 11-12 (four matches) before the two Semifinal matches on August 15. The possibility exists that America First Field in Sandy could host Knockout Round matches involving Real Salt Lake, as well as potential “intra-league” matches between Liga MX opponents.
The Leagues Cup 2023 Final and third-place game will be played on Saturday, August 19 to determine the three clubs that will qualify for the 2024 CONCACAF Champions League.
Fans around the world will be able to watch Leagues Cup on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app, which is available on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices from Roku, Amazon, and Google, game consoles, and the web at tv.apple.com. In addition, TelevisaUnivision, FOX Sports, TSN and RDS will be the linear broadcast home for select Leagues Cup matches in the United States and Canada.