SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, January 26, 2016) – In conjunction with United Soccer League, today Real Monarchs announced its 2016 regular-season schedule, unveiling the club’s 30-game league slate for its 2nd USL season. The club’s 2016 campaign will kick off on March 26 at Rio Tinto Stadium versus Saint Louis FC.
The 2016 schedule features a 15-game home calendar – with 11 of the club’s home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, two contests on the campus of Utah Valley University in Orem, a game at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and a high-profile neutral-site contest on June 11 in Reno, Nev., against Sacramento Republic FC.
Head Coach Freddy Juarez’ side – which ended last season on a five-game win streak and returns 11 players from the inaugural roster – hosts a trio of USL expansion teams this season, as the Rio Grande Valley Toros (Houston Dynamo affiliate), Swope Park Rangers (Sporting KC affiliate) and San Antonio each visit the Wasatch Front for the first time. The 2016 slate sees the Monarchs playing budding Phoenix-based rival Arizona United SC on four occasions, with four other Western Conference teams – Colorado Springs, Orange County, Sacramento and Vancouver – three times each.
"We are very excited to move forward in 2016,” said Monarchs President and RSL VP, Soccer Administration Rob Zarkos. “Not only do we have a balanced schedule, but also one which allows us to take the Monarchs 'on tour' to Orem, University of Utah and Reno and give fans all over the Salt Lake Valley and the InterMountain West the chance to experience our brand, on and off the field."
"Competitively, Freddy and his staff – along with the returning players and the academy products – are anxious to keep growing the infrastructure,” continued Zarkos. “Buoyed by the late-season results and their continued integration to and development of the entire Real Salt Lake pyramid."
Prior to Rio Tinto Stadium’s six-week field renovation on May 1, the Monarchs host five of the club’s first six games of the campaign from March 26 to April 26, before embarking on a run of 12 consecutive games away from Rio Tinto Stadium from April 30 to June 26. Ten of those 12 games are true road matches, with the May 21 home match played at the University of Utah versus Orange County, while June 11 sees the Monarchs serve as the host against Sacramento Republic FC in Reno, Nev., at Aces Ballpark, the home of Reno’s 2017 USL entry.
The general public sale for 2016 Monarchs season tickets kicks off on Wednesday. The Rio Tinto Stadium box office is open Tues.-Fri., 10a-6p; more information can be found online at www.RSL.com/Monarchs or via the Fan Relations Hotline at 801-727-2702. Preferred pricing for the Monarchs season is available to RSL Season Ticket Members, while other packages start at just $77 for the year.
Juarez and the coaching staff of David “Bingy” Lara and Jeff Ginn are currently conducting preseason training in the Salt Lake Valley, adding 3 signings so far in the offseason with FW Andrew Brody, DF Jony Caparelli and FW Colin Rolfe. The second-year club embarks to Costa Rica Feb. 5-19, where it will play three matches against second-division Tico sides, and will host three local preseason scrimmages on March 5 against UNLV March 11 against BYU and March 19 at UVU prior to the 2016 opener. A full Monarchs roster can be found at www.RealMonarchs.com.
On 10 of the club’s 30 overall dates, the Monarchs compete on the same day as MLS parent Real Salt Lake. Both clubs head to South Texas on the same weekend, with Monarchs at Rio Grande Valley on Friday, May 13 and RSL at the Houston Dynamo 24 hours later. For the second consecutive year, the Monarchs will play a home game – albeit at Utah Valley University in Orem – on the same day as an RSL match at Rio Tinto Stadium, as Friday, July 22 sees both teams celebrate Pioneer Day Weekend by hosting Arizona in the early evening and then the San Jose Earthquakes at 9p MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.