The RSL family and the entire club is proud to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15. In addition to the month-long celebration, RSL will be hosting its annual Hispanic Heritage Match on September 23 against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
The club will release a variety of content based around Hispanic Heritage month in the next 30 days including video documentaries, specialized graphics, additional content in Spanish and more.
During the match on the 23rd, RSL will be hosting the Mariachi band from Esperanza Elementary for a halftime performance, all social media will be done in Spanish and there will be a Hispanic Heritage Month inspired matchday poster, plus much more. Additional details will be unveiled closer to matchday.
Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual recognition of the contributions and influence of Hispanic Culture and the role they have played in shaping and molding the United States of America into what it is today.
Unlike other celebratory months, Hispanic Heritage Month begins mid-September as a nod to the anniversaries of several Spanish-speaking countries and their quest for independence. The observance takes place each year beginning on September 15 and continuing for 30 consecutive days until October 15.
Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua all gained independence on September 15, Mexico won its independence on September 16 and Chile became independent on September 18.
The celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month originated in 1968 when President Lyndon B. Johnson enacted the first Hispanic Heritage Week which took place the week of September 15. This tradition remained until President Ronald Reagan expanded it to include the entire month.
As of 2023, 62.57 million citizens claim to have Hispanic or Latino roots, making up over 19 percent of the United States population, up 25 percent from 2010, making them the fastest-growing group in the country.
Utah is home to over 490,000 Hispanic and Latinx Utahns making them the second largest ethnic group by population in the state. With the state of Utah once being a part of Mexico, the Hispanic connections run deep in our history and our future.
Within the Real Salt Lake organization, nine Hispanic nationalities are represented through players, coaches, and staff.
Currently, the two head coaches of the professional teams are both Hispanic, with Head Coach of Real Salt Lake Pablo Mastroeni hailing from Argentina and Real Monarchs Head Coach Jamison Olave born in Colombia. RSL Goalkeeper Coach Ignacio “Nacho” Hernandez is from Mexico, as is RSL Academy Head of Goalkeeper coach Diego Casillas and Real Monarchs Assistant Coach Andrew May.
Players of Hispanic descent make up nearly 47 percent of the Real Salt Lake roster, representing 10 different countries, including Argentina (Pablo Ruiz), Colombia (Chicho Arango, Andres Gomez, Brayan Vera, Nelson Palacio and Tomas Gomez), Costa Rica (Bryan Oviedo), Cuba (Maikel Chang), Ecuador (Anderson Julio), Guatemala (Rubio Rubin), Mexico (Julio Benitez and Jaziel Orozco), Paraguay (Braian Ojeda), Uruguay (Marcelo Silva) and Venezuela (Jefferson Savarino).
Meanwhile, Benjamin Rodriguez from Real Monarchs was born in Uruguay, Omar Alba is from Panama, Amferny Sinclair is from Costa Rica and Fernando Delgado, Luis Rivera and Julian Vazquez have ties to Mexico.
Nearly half of RSL Academy players come from Hispanic households.
Additionally, the front office is similarly representative of the Hispanic American landscape, with employees who have lineage to Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina, Dominican Republic and Peru.
Real Salt Lake’s Hispanic Heritage Night, much like the purpose of the country’s Hispanic Heritage Month, will serve to honor those from the Hispanic community and recognize their contributions to help create the Club into what it is today. Tickets are available here.