REAL SALT LAKE FINALIZES 2011 PRESEASON SCHEDULE
Preseason Preparations Commence Jan. 20, Leading up to CCL Quarterfinal Round Opener at Columbus Crew Feb. 22;
Claret-and-Cobalt to Hold Pair of Weeklong Camps in Casa Grande, AZ & Phoenix
SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, January 5, 2011) – Real Salt Lake announced today the preliminary plans for its 2011 preseason schedule, which will take the team from Arizona to Utah and back again in preparation for its CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal Round series against the Columbus Crew and the upcoming 2011 Major League Soccer season. After reporting to Utah in just over two weeks’ time, RSL’s 2011 preseason roster will undergo a month’s worth of preseason training, as the return to CCL play takes place in Columbus on Tuesday, February 22, and continues a week later in Sandy on Tuesday, March 1.
Real Salt Lake’s preseason agenda will begin on Thursday, Jan. 20, the date by which players must report to the team and undergo an entrance physical. After spending a few days getting acclimated in Utah, the squad will then head south on Sunday, January 23, to its “home-away-from-home” at the Grande Sports World complex in Casa Grande, Ariz., where RSL will train for a week-and-a-half from Jan. 23-Feb. 1.
While in Casa Grande, the squad will focus primarily on getting its fitness levels back to midseason form while also taking part in workouts that will incorporate players from the Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy, whose U18 & U16 Boys teams are based out of the Grande Sports World camp. After putting together some impressive showings at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s Winter Showcase in Phoenix last month, the RSL-AZ teams will have increased exposure to the RSL first-team in 2011, including access to the team during its two preseason camps in Arizona and possible player call-ups for MLS Reserve Division contests starting in the spring.
Following the Casa Grande camp, RSL will return to Utah for some rest and additional practice sessions before returning to Arizona for the second leg of preseason camp in Phoenix from Feb. 7-15. Before RSL becomes too accustomed to the warm sunshine of The Grand Canyon State, the team will head back to Utah on Feb. 16 to continue its preparations for the CCL Quarterfinals.
After departing for the Midwest on Feb. 19, RSL will spend a few days in Columbus, Ohio, before taking on The Crew in Leg One of the Quarterfinals on Tuesday, Feb. 22, with kickoff scheduled for 6:00 p.m. MT (live on Fox Soccer Channel). The two MLS combatants will then head west to the Wasatch Front and Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy for Leg Two of their Quarterfinal series a week later on Tuesday, March 1, at 8:00 p.m. MT.
The winner of the Real Salt Lake-Columbus series will square off against a Central American side in the Semifinal Round, against either Costa Rican powerhouse Deportivo Saprissa or Honduran champion CD Olimpia. Should RSL advance past Columbus, the Utah side would host Leg One of the CCL Semifinals at Rio Tinto Stadium, tentatively scheduled for March 15.
In the midst of CCL Quarterfinals and a possible berth to the Semifinals, RSL plans on scheduling a preseason exhibition game between March 8-10; the date, opponent, and venue information will be released as details are confirmed.
Real Salt Lake will shift focus to its seventh season of MLS play on Saturday, March 19, when it takes on the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. in a high-profile “MLS First Kick 2011” match-up (8:30 p.m. MT). One week later, the Claret-and-Cobalt will mark their 2011 MLS Home Opener on Saturday, March 26, when the Utahans will look to continue their 25-game League home undefeated record versus the L.A. Galaxy. Kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium is set for 7:00 p.m. MT.
Real Salt Lake 2011 Preseason Schedule (subject to change)
Thurs., Jan. 20: All players report to Utah
Jan. 23 – Feb. 1: Preseason Camp #1 at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, AZ
Feb. 2-6: Utah-based training sessions
Feb. 7-15: Preseason Camp #2 in Phoenix, AZ
Feb. 16–18: Utah-based training sessions
Feb. 19–21: travel to/training in Columbus, OH
Tues., Feb. 22: CCL Quarterfinal Leg One v. Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium – 6:00 p.m. MT (Fox Soccer Channel)
Feb. 24-28: Utah-based training sessions
Tues., March 1 – CCL Quarterfinal Leg Two v. Columbus Crew at Rio Tinto Stadium – 8:00 p.m. MT (Fox Soccer Channel)
March 2-6 – Utah-based training sessions
March 8-10 – Preseason game (date/team/location TBD)
Tues., March 15 – possible CCL Semifinal Leg One fixture (if applicable, at Rio Tinto Stadium v. CD Olimpia/CD Saprissa series winner)
Sat., Mar. 19 – MLS First Kick 2011 – RSL at San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. – 8:30 p.m. MT kickoff
Sat., Mar. 26 – RSL 2011 MLS Home Opener v. L.A. Galaxy at Rio Tinto Stadium – 7:00 p.m. MT kickoff