SANDY, Utah (Thursday, May 23, 2019) – Real Salt Lake is set to welcome defending MLS Cup champion Atlanta United FC to Rio Tinto Stadium on Friday, May 24. Kickoff from Sandy is set for 7:00p MT as Mike Petke looks to lead RSL to its third consecutive victory.
Fans are encouraged to make their way to the West side of Rio Tinto Stadium after the final whistle of RSL’s match against Atlanta United to witness the first RSL Special Olympics Unified match of the 2019 season. RSL Unified will take on Atlanta United FC Unified directly after RSL’s match. RSL Unified is a member of Special Olympics Utah with Unified Soccer founded in an effort to join people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by the simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.
RSL is coming off the back of a dominant 3-0 victory over Toronto FC at Rio Tinto Stadium last Saturday, a match that saw MF Damir Kreilachscore the winning goal after just 14 minutes before FW Sebastian Saucedo and FW Jefferson Savarino added goals to solidify the victory. Earning the shutout – his 146th career shutout – was RSL GK Nick Rimando who made his return to the field after missing the last four matches due to injury. Additionally, MF Everton Luiz made his return to the pitch, coming on as a second-half substitute having too missed the last four matches with a knee injury.
The last time RSL and Atlanta United faced off was in September 2018 at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta in a match that saw RSL fall 2-0 as The Five Stripes saw goals from Julian Gressel and Hector Villalba secure the win. RSL has hosted Atlanta on one previous occasion in April 2017 that resulted in a 3-1 win for the visitors as MF Albert Rusnák scored RSL’s lone goal.
Atlanta United FC will arrive in Utah having recently seen a run of five consecutive shutout victories come to a halt after Sunday’s 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena. Prior to its loss to NYRB, Atlanta outscored its previous five opponents by a +8 margin.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake vs. Atlanta United FC – Fri., May 24, 2019
· Coverage Begins: 6:30 p.m. MT
· Local TV: KMYU with David James (play-by-play), Brian Dunseth (color) & Samantha Yarock (sideline)
National TV: UniMás
· Digital Streaming: KSL TV App
· English Radio: ESPN700 with Bill Riley (play-by-play) & Jay Nolly (color)
· Spanish Radio: 107.1 FM
Game Notes for Saturday’s RSL v ATL game Available Online
The link to the Adobe PDF version of the Game Guide in advance of Friday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Atlanta United FC is available HERE. If you have any problems obtaining the document, would prefer to receive it as an attachment, or are seeking more information on the match, please contact Taran Meyer in the RSL Communications Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Petke’s squad features a balanced attack that saw six players score five goals or more last season, led by club MVP and Golden Boot winner MF Damir Kreilach’s 12 goals to go with eight assists in his first MLS season. Rusnák finished last season with 10 goals and seven assists while FW Joao Plata had eight goals and eight assists and FW Jefferson Savarino notched seven goals and a team-leading 11 assists. Reigning AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year FW Corey Baird leads a dynamic crop of Homegrown talent from the Real Salt Lake Academy, scoring eight goals with five assists in his debut professional season.
Regular contributors in that group of young and rising talent from 2018 return as DF Justen Glad, DF Aaron Herrera, FW Sebastian Saucedo and the club’s Defensive Player of the Year, DF Brooks Lennon all look poised to be regulars for the side once again. Meanwhile, club legends MF Kyle Beckerman and GK Nick Rimando and DF Tony Beltran lead a young group into the club’s 15th season in the country’s top flight.
RSL welcomed nine new players to its squad for the 2019 season as FWs Julian Vazquez, Tate Schmitt and Sam Johnson; MFs Justin Portillo, Luis Arriaga and Everton Luiz join DFs Donny Toia and Erik Holt as well as GK David Ochoa all became new faces in the offseason