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RSL Kicks Off 20th MLS Season Wednesday In Miami

HERRIMAN, Utah (Tuesday, February 20, 2024) – Real Salt Lake (14-12-8, 50 pts., 5th West MLS last year) kicks off its 2024 regular season – the Club’s 20th in Major League Soccer – Wednesday night at Inter Miami CF (9-18-7, 34 pts., 14th East in 2023) at the newly-named Chase Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in a standalone “MLS is Back” 2024 kickoff. 

For the first time ever, the teams meet on Wednesday, as RSL looks to extend its MLS Opening Day unbeaten run to 15 games, last losing its first match in 2009 – incidentally, the year RSL won MLS Cup. RSL’s active 14-game unbeaten run on MLS Opening Weekends from 2010-present includes 7 wins and 7 draws in that time. With only two of those matches played at home (2014 – 3-0 W over Toronto and 2017 – 0-0 with Toronto), RSL is 6W-0L-6T away in MLS season kickoffs since 2010, including draws in two previous visits to Florida – both at Orlando (2016 – 2-2 and 2020 – 0-0). 

Wednesday’s kickoff starts at 6:00p MT on Apple TV+ / MLS Season Pass w/ Jake Zivin and Taylor Twellman (ENG) and Sammy Sadovnik and Diego Valeri (SPN). For local coverage, tune in at 5:00p MT for KSL Radio pre-game w/ David James & Jay Nolly via / 1280 AM / 97.5 FM and / 1160 AM).

Real Salt Lake @ InterMiami CF – MLS Matchday 1

Chase Stadium – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024 – 6:00p MT


Last August, RSL was a 30-minute extra-time period at Houston away from hosting Inter Miami CF in the 2023 Lamar Hunt Open Cup Final, but fell, 1-3 in 120 minutes, after conceding twice in extra time at the eventual USOC Champion Dynamo. Although the two teams have never faced off, there are some ties that bind RSL and IMCF: 

  • RSL Sporting Director and Chief Soccer Officer Kurt Schmid was Inter Miami’s Technical Director for the 2019/20 seasons, prior to accepting the Technical Director job in Utah in early 2021 … Iconic former RSL man Jason Kreis – Salt Lake’s first-ever player, the Club’s captain from 2005-07, its MLS Cup-winning head coach from May, 2007, through December 2013 – worked with Schmid to develop the South Florida MLS club’s Academy and USL setup during its inaugural 2020 season, and also was Phil Neville’s first assistant from 2021 to 2023 … 
  • Current Inter Miami CF Assistant Coach Javier Morales was RSL’s “maestro” in the midfield during the Club’s golden years, playing for RSL from August, 2007, through the end of the 2015 season … Morales – who ranks amongst RSL’s historical elite in MLS games played (240, 5th all-time), starts (217, 5th), goals (49, 2nd), assists (81, 1st) and minutes (19,255, 5th) as well as fan adoration (RSL Mt. Rushmore with former teammates Kyle Beckerman & Nick Rimando) – saw his two sons, Santiago and Mateo, born in Utah … Santi – who basically grew up on the stadium pitch in Sandy – recently signed a first-team contract with Miami at the age of 16 after a stellar Academy career, one which saw him hit the Cup-winning goal for Miami over RSL at the U-15 MLS NEXT Cup in Summer 2022 … 
  • Finally, RSL Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni once called Miami his MLS home, playing for the Fusion from 1998-2001 … During his career with the Fusion, Mastroeni appeared in exactly 100 MLS reg. season games, scoring twice and adding 10 assists in 96 starts … During his four years in South Florida, Pablo was teammates with the aforementioned Beckerman, Rimando and future RSL men Jeff Cassar, Garth Lagerwey, Tyrone Marshall, Brian Kamler, Andy Williams and* Brian Dunseth* … 
  • Current Inter Miami CF Sporting Director Chris Henderson was also a part of those Fusion teams … 

The 2023 RSL side amassed the Club’s seventh 50-point season all-time, and just the second since the 2014 campaign. Finishing 11th overall out of 29 teams, RSL crashed out of the postseason by the thinnest of margins for a second consecutive year (Austin 2022, Houston 2023), dropping a road shootout tiebreaker in Texas. Other 2023 RSL milestones:

  • Accumulated an all-time Club-best road record with 12 results in 17 away MLS matches, posting an 8W-5L-4T mark with 28 of its 50 reg. season points amassed on the road; RSL’s previous road bests were recorded in 2012 and 2013, with identical 6W-7L-4T marks;
  • RSL’s home mark of 6W-7L-4T was its worst since 2007, when a 4W-7L-4T record on the Rice-Eccles turf marked the 19-year nadir;
  • During a nearly four-month span from mid-April to early August, RSL dropped just three of 24 games across all competitions, including MLS reg. season action, its Open Cup run to the Semifinals and its initial Leagues Cup foray;
  • Thirty-two (32) different players saw action for RSL in 2023, including 15-year-old FW Axel Kei and 16-year-old Zavier Gozo making their Homegrown debuts, along with Academy products GK Gavin Beavers and DF Delentz Pierre also making their first-ever first-team appearances; a trio of rookies – D/M Emeka Eneli, FW Bertin Jacquesson and FW Ilijah Paul – made their professional debuts, while FW Andrés Gómez, MF Nelson Palacio, DF Kevon Lambert and DF* Brayan Vera* notched their first-ever MLS appearances last season;
  • Since April 16, 2005, RSL has enjoyed a prominent home-field advantage on Utah soil – posting a dominant 194-83-95 (Win-Loss-Draw) record across all competitions at home (1.82 points per game for a 0.649 win pct.) – since arriving on the Wasatch Front nearly 20 years ago;
  • Since opening its permanent home in Sandy just over 15 years ago, in October, 2008, RSL’s 164-58-75 (W-L-T) MLS reg. season mark at America First Field – home of the “RioT” Supporters Group umbrella – equates to a 1.91 points per game average and a 0.679 win pct, one of the truly amazing value proposition in North American sporting landscape today.