Rio Tinto Stadium to Host 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Finals

SANDY, Utah (May 14, 2015) - The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today announced that iconic Utah venue Rio Tinto Stadium, home of Real Salt Lake (MLS) and Real Monarchs (USL), will host the 2015 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Semifinal and Final Matchdates, scheduled to be played on Sat., Oct. 10 and Tues., Oct. 13.

"We are pleased again to host a significant international qualifier at Rio Tinto Stadium and appreciate CONCACAF awarding these games for our great fans," said RSL President Bill Manning, who has worked closely with various governing bodies throughout his eight seasons with the club to broaden Utah's soccer offerings. "Our work with the Utah Sports Commission has allowed us to be active in bidding on these type events, and we're all very excited to be chosen as host of the semifinal & final doubleheaders for CONCACAF's entry into the 2016 Olympic Games."

Rio Tinto Stadium - where Real Salt Lake regularly hosts 15,000+ season ticket holders and has sold out 27 of its last 35 matches across all competitions - will host the decisive Olympic semifinal matches on Oct.10, as well as the final and third-place match on Oct. 13. The top two finishers in each group after round-robin play will advance to the semifinals. The two finalists qualify directly to the 2016 Olympic Football Tournament in Rio de Janeiro, while the winner of the third-place match will earn the right to face South American Olympic qualifying runner-up Colombia in a playoff for an additional spot.

Ticket information will be announced at a later date. Those interested in priority access to tickets should consider joining the U.S. Soccer Supporters Club. Real Salt Lake and Real Monarchs season ticket holders will receive priority access to the Olympic qualifying tourney semifinal and final matchdates prior to the general public.

"These qualifiers are part of the series of key events that we are thrilled to partner with," said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. "As part of our great state's sport and Olympic legacy efforts, this event will once again attract national and international coverage, putting Utah back in the spotlight.

Rio Tinto Stadium now adds Olympic qualifying to the list of regional and international competitions hosted in the Sandy venue, on top of Real Salt Lake reg. season, MLS Cup Playoff, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League contests. Past soccer events have included United States Men's FIFA World Cup Qualifiers for the 2010 and 2014 tournaments, the 2009 MLS All-Star Game, the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup group stage games, and United States Women's National Team exhibitions.

Opening on October 9, 2008, the Sandy, Utah venue has seen nearly 3 million people pass the turnstiles of Rio Tinto Stadium for the aforementioned soccer events along with various rugby, American football, high school and community competitions, as well as high-profile concerts. Since 2008, RSL has amassed a dominant home record of 87-19-36 across all competitions, outscoring opponents by 154 goals (259-105) in those 142 matches.

Real Salt Lake has seen two of its current players recently compete in the Olympic-age U-23 player pool for the United States, as 21-year old MF Luis Gil wore the Captain's armband in several matches this Spring, as well as notching the game-winning assist in the 3-0 U.S. win over Mexico on April 22. RSL DF Boyd Okwuonu played the final 25 minutes of that match, and started several earlier matches along with Gil during the U-23's European camp in Croatia.

Kicking off on Thursday, October 1, group stage matches begin in Denver, Kansas City and Los Angeles for the U.S. Under-23 Men's National Team, along with Canada and Mexico, as well as three nations from the Central American region and two from the Caribbean, with qualifiers in those regions scheduled for August. The draw for the championship is scheduled for mid-August, and will set the complete tournament schedule and kickoff times.

The eight qualified nations will be divided into two groups of four. The U.S. is seeded in Group A, which kicks off at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas, on Oct. 1. Defending champion and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Mexico will head Group B, set to begin play the next day at StubHub Center in Carson, California.

"One of the great things about all of these venues has been the amazing support the fans have given the National Team," U.S. U-23 MNT Head Coach Andi Herzog said. "We have seen how much of an impact our fans have, and we need them more than ever as we strive to represent the United States in the 2016 Olympics."

Kansas City and Los Angeles will also stage the second round of group matches on Oct. 3-4, while Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, hosts all eight teams for the final games of the group phase on Oct. 6-7.

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