SANDY, Utah (Thursday, August 31, 2017) – Real Monarchs SLC (17-3-4, 55 points, USL #1 / West #1) kick off Labor Day Weekend with a Saturday night regular-season contest against San Antonio FC, with a 7:00 p.m. MT kickoff against the Monarchs’ closest Western Conference pursuers. A win on Saturday would allow Head Coach Mark Briggs’ side to officially clinch a USL Cup Playoff berth, the Monarchs’ first in its three-year history.
The Rio Tinto Stadium box office is open Mon.-Fri., 10a-6p; more information can be found online at www.RSL.com/Tickets. For Saturday, fans who visit www.RSL.com/Monarchs can take advantage of a “4 for $40” deal, which includes tickets, hot dogs and churros for four people! Current or interested RSL Royalty Season Ticket Members can also purchase extra tickets at preferred pricing or gain assistance via the Fan Relations Hotline at 801-727-2702.
The Monarchs enter Saturday with a 13-game unbeaten run in Sandy dating back to last year, which includes last week’s 2-1 come-from-behind home win against Rio Grande Valley, improving the Monarchs’ near-perfect 11-0-1 mark at the “RioT” thus far in 2017. Despite seeing its 10-game home win streak snapped with the July 31 0-0 draw against visiting Tulsa, the Monarchs retain confidence and dominance at Rio Tinto Stadium, where the club boasts a 11-0-1 mark this year and has lost just once in its last 18 games dating back to last September.
Entering this weekend, the Monarchs pursue several goals within reach during the final eight games of the campaign, including clinching its first-ever postseason berth, the No. 1 overall seed in the 2017 postseason, as well as new USL records for wins (21), points (69) and goals (61).
How to Follow Real Monarchs SLC v. San Antonio FC – Sat., Sept. 2, 2017
- Coverage Begins: 7:00 p.m. MT
- Local Stream: www.RSL.com or www.USLsoccer.com w/ Landon Southwick & Carla Haslam
- English Radio: ESPN700 AM
- Spanish Radio: 1600 AM / 102.3 FM
- Online: The @RealMonarchs Twitter feed provides updates
The scintillating 2017 Real Monarchs / USL season continues this weekend, kicking off the final quarter of the 32-game regular season, as Head Coach Mark Briggs’ USL elite – with a 17-3-4 mark and a league-leading 54 points – claim the league’s second-best goal differential, +25 with 50 goals scored and 25 allowed in just 24 games, occupying first place overall in the USL, 10 clear of San Antonio FC in the West and now 11 ahead of both East leaders, Louisville City FC and Charlotte Independence in the race for home-field advantage in the 2017 USL Cup Playoffs.
Following Saturday’s match against San Antonio, the Monarchs will play four of their next five games on the road in September, looking to improve upon its already impressive 6-3-3 mark away from home this season. Next month sees the Monarchs travel to Portland and Phoenix prior to a Sept. 22 home match against Orange County, then again hitting the road at Sacramento and Reno prior to wrapping up the 2017 USL regular season at home against Vancouver and LA Galaxy II the first two Saturdays in October.
Earlier on Saturday, a pair of FREE games at Rio Tinto Stadium feature Real Salt Lake’s U-18 and U-16 Academy teams, as the 2017-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season kicks off. The clubs’ inaugural contests on Utah soil feature Martin Vasquez’ U-16 side at 11:00 a.m. against the visiting Portland Timbers FC in Southwest Division action, followed by the RSL U-18 team against Portland at 1:30 p.m. MT in Sandy. Both games feature FREE admission at Rio Tinto Stadium, with FREE parking in the main West lot (fans must enter the building from the main West Side entrance).
Both RSL Academy clubs are perennial Southwest Division powers, with the U-17/18s winning decidedly in the most recent 2016-17 season with a 24-6-6 record (78 points, 73 GF / 34 GA), advancing deep into the USSDA Playoffs in June. The RSL U-15/16 side finished second in the Southwest last year with a 22-8-6 mark (72 points, 87 GF / 47 GA), one point shy of FC Golden State before capturing third place overall with a 3-2 win in the third-place match over Vancouver, after succumbing to FC Dallas at the Semifinal stage. RSL’s U-17/18 team was stopped one step shy of the Semifinals, losing a 4-1 shootout decision in knockout play after a 1-1 regulation draw with LA Galaxy.
Opening last week, the Zions Bank Real Academy training campus arrives in Herriman, Utah, approximately 20 minutes southwest of Rio Tinto Stadium. The $72 million facility – which includes five grass “TORO Fields” (sod installation began earlier this August) – will soon serve as the daily training home beginning in 2018 for both of the club's professional teams – RSL (MLS) and Real Monarchs (USL) – while centralizing the club's U-18, U-16 and future U-14 development academy youth selections, under the supervision of Academy Director Martin Vasquez. The Herriman facility will provide adjacencies for an on-site charter school with STEM disciplines (Science/Technology/Engineering/Math) for nearly 200 boys and girls.
Opening in early October in North Logan, Utah, after breaking ground a year ago, RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen will dedicate the first of a half-dozen regional training centers across Utah and Arizona to be built in the next 24-36 months. Each $5 million RTC houses a classroom, as well as an indoor and outdoor field, dedicated to fulfilling a curriculum consistent with the club's vision and mission for youth soccer training and education, and the continued development of both recreational and competitive pre-Academy (ages 7-12) initiatives across Utah and Arizona.