REAL SALT LAKE CONTINUES 2020 SEASON
RSL Faces LAFC, Seattle Sounders FC and Colorado Rapids in First Three Home Matches at Rio Tinto Stadium
SANDY, UTAH (Saturday, August 8, 2020) – Major League Soccer today announced that following the conclusion of the MLS is Back Tournament, the league’s 25th season will continue in the home markets of the 26 clubs beginning August 12. The return to play in home markets will feature comprehensive health and safety protocols, including regular testing of players, coaches and essential staff for COVID-19.
Real Salt Lake will face LAFC, Seattle Sounders FC and the Colorado Rapids at Rio Tinto Stadium for the home portion of the schedule. RSL meets the Rapids, Portland Timbers and Minnesota United FC in the three road games during phase one.
RSL’s Phase One Schedule
Aug. 22 @ Colorado Rapids, 7 p.m. MT
Aug. 26 vs. LAFC, 7:30 p.m. MT
Aug. 29 @ Portland Timbers, 8:30 p.m. MT
Sept. 2 vs. Seattle Sounders FC, 7:30 p.m. MT
Sept. 5 @ Minnesota United, 6 p.m. MT
Sept. 12 vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 p.m. MT
In an expansion of the postseason for 2020, 18 clubs will compete in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs -- up from 14 teams last year. MLS Cup will be played on Dec. 12.
MLS plans to announce the balance of the regular season schedule by early September as the league continues to work with infectious disease experts, league and club medical personnel, and government officials in all markets in charting a course for the completion of the 2020 season.
RSL opens the six-game phase of the MLS schedule against the Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday, August 22 at 7 p.m. MT in the first of two Rocky Mountain Cup matches. RSL will then host LAFC at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wednesday, August 26 at 7:30 p.m. MT. After visiting the Timbers on Saturday, August 29, RSL will host defending MLS Cup champion Seattle on Wednesday, September 2 at 7:30 p.m. MT. In the final two matches, RSL will visit Minnesota on September 5 at 6 p.m. MT, then host Colorado on September 12 at 7:30 p.m. MT.
For RSL’s three home matches, Rio Tinto Stadium will be opened to a configuration accommodating roughly 5,000 fans, following detailed procedures and protocols authorized by the Salt Lake County and State of Utah government health officials. This plan provides detailed health and safety directives for everyone entering the stadium on a matchday, including players, staff, and fans. Real Salt Lake Season Ticket Members will have a priority presale on the limited number of seats with any remaining tickets being made available to the general public at a later date.
All matches are scheduled to broadcast on KMYU and ESPN 700 with a live stream on the KSL TV app.
RSL already faced Colorado and Minnesota in the MLS Is Back Tournament in Orlando in July, topping the Rapids 2-0 while playing to a scoreless draw against Minnesota. Real Salt Lake has taken home the Rocky Mountain Cup in 11 of the last 13 seasons against Colorado, posting a 19-8-10 record during that stretch. In LAFC and Portland, RSL will face teams the club has eliminated from the MLS Cup Playoffs in each of the last two seasons, topping LAFC on the road in 2018 and the Timbers at Rio Tinto Stadium in 2019.
Real Salt Lake is currently ninth in the Western Conference at 1-1-3 (6 points) with the league’s second-best defensive marks, posting a 0.50 goals against average. In 2019, RSL finished third in the Western Conference at 16-13-5 (53 points), advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals for the second consecutive season.
As with the MLS is Back Tournament, COVID-19 testing protocols will again play an important role in MLS’ competition framework. MLS continues to work closely with the league’s infectious disease advisors as well as advisors for the MLSPA on the plan for testing. All clubs are forming testing partnerships with a local certified lab, and all players, technical staff, and essential club staff will be tested every other day, including the day before each match day. Also, guidelines will be provided to players, coaches and essential staff to avoid the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 during their time away from club facilities.
In addition to adhering to health, safety and medical protocols, another focus of the new schedule is efficient travel. Teams will take chartered flights, and for the majority of road trips will arrive in the host market on matchday and depart after the match later that evening.
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