A Historical Perspective of Real Salt Lake

2004

July 14, 2004: Salt Lake City is awarded an expansion team for the 10th MLS season. The club would become Major League Soccer’s 12th organization, joining the league with now-defunct CD Chivas USA.

Former U.S. U-17 boss John Ellinger named first head coach

October 2004: Major League Soccer’s 12th franchise is named: Real Salt Lake

November 17, 2004: In a trade with the Dallas Burn, Real Salt Lake acquired its first ever player, Jason Kreis, who later scored the club’s first-ever goal in a 1-3 road loss at LA Galaxy.

2005

April 2, 2005: RSL played its first match in club history during a Nor’easter away at the New York MetroStars at Giants Stadium. The match ended in a scoreless draw.

April 9, 2005: Jason Kreis scored the franchise’s first goal in club history, a 3-1 loss at the Los Angeles Galaxy.

April 16, 2005: The first home match in Utah. 25,287 RSL faithful packed into Rice-Eccles Stadium to watch the new club face regional rival Colorado Rapids for its inaugural home match. The game ended in a 1-0 victory for the Claret-and-Cobalt, courtesy of a Brian Dunseth header in the 87th minute. The win gave RSL the first victory in club history.

August 13, 2005: Captain Jason Kreis becomes the first player in MLS history to score 100 career league goals with his thunderous volley during a 4-2 loss to the Kansas City Wizards at Rice Eccles Stadium.

2006

August 12, 2006: Together with members of Real Madrid – including David Beckham, Fabio Cannavaro, Roberto Carlos and Raúl, with Fabio Capello looking on – the fledgling Utah club broke ground on RSL’s future home in Sandy. That evening RSL and Real Madrid played a friendly match at Rice Eccles Stadium, ending 2-0 in favor of Madrid as Dutch striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Brazilian striker Robinho each scored goals before a capacity crowd of 45,000 plus in a historic day for Utah sports.

2007

February 23, 2007: After being traded to RSL from D.C. United as part of the Freddy Adu trade, and then re-acquired from the New York Red Bulls after just a few preseason weeks, RSL trades back for MLS’s greatest goalkeeper, Nick Rimando. Twelve years later, Rimando enters the 2018 season with his name atop numerous club and league records, including setting the pace as the all-time leader in wins, shutouts, saves, games, starts and minutes, among many marks.

May 3, 2007: Head Coach John Ellinger is relieved of his duties as head coach and is replaced by Captain Jason Kreis in a move that stunned the American soccer community.

July 16, 2007: RSL trades Medhi Ballouchy to the Colorado Rapids for midfielder Kyle Beckerman in a move that shaped the competitive culture in Utah. For 2018, Beckerman enters his 12th year with the club as the league’s all-time field player leader in games, starts, minutes, fouls and yellow cards.

October 20th, 2007: RSL’s first “Rocky Mountain Cup” victory, a 1-0 stunner courtesy of FW Robbie Findley in suburban Denver that knocked the rival Rapids out of playoff contention.

2008

October 9, 2008: RSL opens the spectacular Rio Tinto Stadium, hosting the New York Red Bulls in front of a sellout crowd of 20,008 in Sandy. The match ended in a 1-1 draw as defender Jamison Olave scored the first goal for RSL in its new home.

October 25, 2008: RSL books its first ever playoff ticket thanks to a stoppage-time putback by Yura Movsisyan to level the match at Colorado on the final day of the regular season. The goal once again bounced the rival Rapids from playoff contention, as RSL booked its first-ever postseason berth.

November 1-8, 2008: The club plays expansion brethren Chivas USA in a two-game conference semifinal series, RSL ultimately topping CUSA 3-2 on aggregate. The series win advanced the club to the conference finals against the New York Red Bulls, which flipped to the West bracket and defeated Houston in a massive upset.

November 15, 2008: The Western Conference final was hosted at Rio Tinto Stadium against the New York Red Bulls. New York ultimately topped RSL 1-0 after a first-half strike from Dave Van den Burgh forced RSL’s exit in its first playoff appearance.

2009

October 31, 2009: After finishing the regular-season 11-12-7, RSL advanced to the playoffs for the second consecutive year after winning a tiebreaker against D.C. United and the Rapids. The club went on to face reigning MLS Cup champion and top-seeded Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference bracket. RSL topped the Crew 4-2 on aggregate after beating the Crew 1-0 on October 31 in Sandy, before a spirited 3-2 victory in Columbus on November 5.

November 14, 2009: The Eastern Conference Final pitted RSL against the Chicago Fire in Bridgeview, Illinois. After a scoreless draw through 120 minutes of play, the game would be decided from the penalty spot. RSL netminder Nick Rimando again played the hero, stopping three spot kicks in a row before Ned Grabavoy’s rifled shot sent RSL to its first MLS Cup final by a 5-4 tiebreaker.

November 22, 2009: MLS Cup 2009. RSL vs. LA Galaxy. In one of the most anticipated MLS Cup finals in league history, RSL – who squeaked into the playoffs as the last seed on the final day – faced a star-studded LA Galaxy with David Beckham and Landon Donovan at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington. LA opened the scoring through Mike Magee in the 41st minute to lead the match into halftime. RSL started the second half on fire and in the 64th minute equalized courtesy of Robbie Findley. The final would take 120 minutes of soccer and seven rounds of penalties to decide a winner.

Rimando again played the hero, saving two Galaxy spot kicks as Donovan sent his shot sailing over the crossbar. In the seventh round of the shootout, RSL defender Robbie Russell sent substitute LA goalkeeper Josh Saunders the wrong way, tucking the ball into the side-netting and sending the Claret-and-Cobalt into euphoria. RSL claim its first MLS Cup after topping the Galaxy 5-4 in a shootout, the State of Utah’s first major-league title in nearly 40 years.

2010

RSL was the highest-scoring team in the MLS with 45 goals in 30 games.
Jamison Olave was awarded the MLS Defender of the Year.
RSL became just the 2nd MLS team to post an undefeated home campaign.

2012

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

April 20, 2011: The club played its first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Final in Monterrey, Mexico, drawing with Monterrey 2-2 courtesy of a Javier Morales equalizer in the 89th minute. The return leg at Rio Tinto Stadium on April 27, 2011 saw RSL fall 1-0 in front of a sold-out crowd, giving Monterrey a 3-2 aggregate victory.

May 22, 2011: RSL recorded its 29th consecutive unbeaten match in league play at Rio Tinto Stadium with its scoreless tie against FC Dallas. RSL’s unbeaten record at home spanned from June 9, 2009 to May 28, 2011 when it lost to Seattle Sounders 1-0. Playing 29 matches unbeaten at Rio Tinto Stadium currently stands good for second-best in league history only behind the Houston Dynamo who carried 30 matches unbeaten from July 9, 2011 to April 28, 2013.

2013

January 24, 2013: Utah entrepreneur Dell Loy Hansen assumes full ownership of Real Salt Lake and Rio Tinto Stadium. Having joined the ownership ranks of the team in October 2009, Hansen acquires complete control of the organization from founder Dave Checketts.

October 1, 2013: After topping the Atlanta Silverbacks, Charleston Battery, Carolina Railhawks and the Portland Timbers, RSL played host to D.C. United in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final at Rio Tinto Stadium. After a hard-fought tournament, RSL fell 1-0 in front of a sold-out crowd at Rio Tinto.

December 7, 2013: In the league’s 18th installment of MLS Cup, RSL was pitted against Sporting Kansas City in frigid conditions at Sporting Park for the second final in league history not held at a predetermined, neutral venue. After finishing second in the Western Conference, RSL beat LA Galaxy in the Conference Semifinals and the top-seeded Portland Timbers in the Western Conference Final to book its place in MLS Cup. Sporting earned the right to host the final due to finishing higher in the standings at the end of the regular-season. At the time, the match was recorded as the coldest ever MLS match with it being 9 degrees at kickoff.

The 2013 MLS Cup was the first-ever small market cup, with both Kansas City and Salt Lake City outside of the Top 10 media markets in the US (Kansas City is #28 and Salt Lake City is #32). The tickets for the match were the highest price for the MLS Cup in any of the past five years at an average of $302 on the secondary market.

After a scoreless first half of play, RSL opened the scoring through Alvaro Saborío when his half-volley screamed past Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. In controversial circumstances, Sporting equalized in the 76th minute. The match went into overtime and subsequently to penalty kicks for the second time in as many MLS Cups the club has participated in. The shootout went a full 10 rounds – and remains the longest shootout in MLS Cup history – as RSL fell 7-6 after Lovel Palmer’s strike in the 10th round rung the crossbar, sending the Sporting faithful into a frenzy.

December 18, 2013: Head Coach Jason Kreis steps down from his role at RSL to become the first head coach at expansion side New York City FC. He is replaced by long-time assistant and goalkeeper coach Jeff Cassar.

2014

May 11, 2014: Midfield maestro Javier Morales scores the quickest goal in club history and the fifth fastest in league history after just 15 seconds. His chipped effort at Houston opened the doors to a 5-2 victory - and Morales’ only career hat trick - as the club claimed its first win in Texas in emphatic fashion.

May 2014: FW Alvaro Saborio was named to the Costa Rican National Team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil. Captain Kyle Beckerman and GK Nick Rimando are named to the World Cup squad representing the United States.

August 10, 2014: RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando sets the record for the most shutouts in MLS history by earning his 113th shutout, breaking a record held previously by Kevin Hartman.

December 23, 2014: Former RSL Academy coach Freddy Juarez is named the first ever head coach of the Real Monarchs ahead of its inaugural USL season in 2015.

2015

March 22, 2015: Real Monarchs play its first-ever match in the United Soccer League, a scoreless draw at LA Galaxy II.

April 29, 2015: The Monarchs register its first ever victory as a club, a 1-0 decision over Sacramento Republic FC; future stalwart and Academy homegrown defender Justen Glad scores the Monarchs’ first-ever goal.

October 17, 2015: RSL captain Kyle Beckerman breaks the all-time appearances record for a field player in Major League Soccer, surpassing Steve Ralston with his 379th appearance.

2016

April 9, 2016 - RSL unveils plans for an estimated $50 million soccer training complex, including a STEM high school in Herriman, Utah.

August 6, 2016: Nick Rimando sets the record for goalkeeper victories in Major League Soccer with his 181st win, surpassing Kevin Hartman as the most decorated goalkeeper in league history. On this day, 115 of those wins were earned while wearing an RSL uniform.

August 23, 2016: RSL officially breaks ground at the Zions Bank Real Academy

August 26, 2016: Kyle Beckerman becomes the all-time minutes leader among field players in MLS, having played 33,145 minutes to again, surpass MLS great Steve Ralston in that category.

November 20, 2016 - North Logan youth training facility groundbreaking.

December 22, 2016: Former MLS defender Mike Petke is hired as the head coach of the Real Monarchs USL side, following Freddy Juarez’s promotion to the assistant coach of RSL.

2017

March 20, 2017: RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen fires Jeff Cassar following an 0-2-1 start to the season, with Daryl Shore serving as interim head coach.

March 30, 2017: After just one match of the 2017 season, Mike Petke is promoted to head coach of Real Salt Lake. Mark Briggs takes over as head coach of Real Monarchs.

April 7, 2017: Petke earns a win in his first game as the RSL boss, a snowy 3-0 victory that saw all three goals scored during a second-half blizzard that will be remembered as Albert Rusnák’s coming-out party.

May 24th, 2017 - Construction continues on 42-acre facility and the Zions Bank Real Academy name is unveiled.      

June 19, 2017: Real Monarchs break the all-time USL record with nine consecutive victories.

November 16, 2017 - Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen announced that Rio Tinto Stadium would become the home to a new NWSL club -- Utah Royals FC. “Our goal is to build the very best women's sports organization in America,” Hansen said.

October 7, 2017: Real Monarchs claim the first silverware in its history by earning the USL Regular Season Championship with the best record in the USL finishing with a 20-5-7 record. The Monarchs lost just once at home in 17 matches on the Wasatch Frong during the regular season.

October 20, 2017: The club plays its first ever USL Playoff match, hosting Sacramento Republic FC at Rio Tinto Stadium. After drawing 1-1 in regulation, it took penalty kicks to decide who would advance to the second round. Republic FC ultimately prevailed 3-1 in a shootout, eliminating the top-seeded Monarchs from the playoffs.

November 20, 2017: Head Coach Mark Briggs is named the USL Coach of the Year after earning a 19-5-7 record in 32 matches in charge of the team. Briggs took over the head coaching position after just one match into the season after Mike Petke’s promotion to RSL. Under the guidance of Briggs, the club came within two points of the all-time points record set by New York Red Bulls II in 2016 (69), and came within two wins of the all-time wins record (22). On November 20, Mark Briggs was named the 2017 USL Coach of the Year for his leadership in the Monarchs historic season.             

                                                                                                                                      

November 27, 2017 - The Utah Royals FC hire two-time NWSL Coach of the Year, Laura Harvey.  Prior to coming to the Utah Royals FC, Harvey, 37, led the Seattle Reign to NWSL final twice, and won the NWSL Shield for the league’s top regular season record in both 2014 and 2015.

December 4th, 2017: Ribbon-cutting for RSL’s first satellite youth academy training center ($6 million) in North Logan, with six more planned in Utah and Arizona over next three years.

December 20, 2017: Utah Royals FC sign their first player to the roster, USWNT co-captain, Olympic gold medalist, three-time NWSL Defender of the Year, and FIFA Women’s World Cup winner, Becky Sauerbrunn.

2018

January 22nd, 2018: Real Salt Lake opens first preseason at ZBRA

February 5th, 2018: Real Monarchs host their first preseason at ZBRA

February 19th, 2018: Utah Royals FC kick off inaugural preseason in the NWSL at ZBRA.

February 28, 2018: The Zions Bank Real Academy officially opens, with RSL Owner Dell Loy Hansen and MLS Commissioner Don Garber in attendance, amongst many community leaders, business luminaries, and players/coaches from all five professional and Academy teams under the Claret-and-Cobalt umbrella, as well as numerous players from youth development programs from Utah and Arizona.

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