For nearly ten years Rio Tinto Stadium has been a scenic setting for soccer since its inception into the Major League Soccer landscape in 2008, hosting historic moments and milestones for Real Salt Lake. Adding to the distinguished history of Rio Tinto Stadium has been the United States Women’s National Team as the U.S. Women have played four international friendlies at Rio Tinto, posting a perfect 4-0-0 record in Sandy.
The first match the USWNT played at Rio Tinto Stadium was March 31, 2010, when it faced Mexico in an infamous snow match that the U.S. won 1-0 courtesy of an Abby Wambach goal in the 60thminute. Due to the frigid temperatures in Sandy, only 3,700 fans attended the National Team’s first-ever match at Rio Tinto that saw many firsts in what have become storied careers for USWNT superstars.
The match gave very first caps to Alex Morgan and Brittany Taylor while USWNT legend Kristine Lilly earned her first start for the U.S. since 2007. Wambach tied Michelle Akers 105 goals for their country, good for third all-time.
Hosting Canada at Rio Tinto two years later in June 2012, the USWNT would use a Canadian own-goal and an 85th minute winner from forward Amy Rodriguez to propel the Stars-and-Stripes to a 2-1 victory in front of nearly 17,000 fans.
Rio Tinto Stadium would again host a friendly between the USWNT and Mexico in 2014 and this time there was no snow and goals were abundant. Led by two goals from Wambach and Morgan, the USWNT routed its rivals 8-0, scoring four goals in each half for their biggest win at Rio Tinto. Others adding goals aside from a Mexico own goal were Whitney Engen, Sydney Leroux and Heather O’Reilly.
The match would prove to be the first tune-up for the very much anticipated Women’s World Cup in 2015 which the USWNT ultimately claimed after going undefeated at 6-0-1 en route to the countries third world title.
Switzerland is the latest team to visit Sandy to play the USWNT in October 2016, as the Americans would move to a perfect 4-0-0 in Sandy as a 4-0 win over the Swiss entertained 14,000 U.S. supporters. Goals from Lynn Williams, Tobin Heath, Christen Press and Samantha Mewis in the second half propelled the team to the win.
The Wasatch Front has provided the USWNT with memorable moments from its matches against Switzerland, Canada and Mexico and with the advent of RSL's world-class facility in Herriman, U.S. Soccer is sure to become frequent visitors to Utah.