Following Tuesday’s announcement that the U.S. Men’s National Team will be returning to Rio Tinto Stadium to face Costa Rica this summer (June 9; ESPN2, Univision), we wanted to recap the history of the USMNT’s matches on Utah soil since Real Salt Lake’s inception in 2005.
When the team steps onto the field against Costa Rica this June, it will be the first time since 2017 that the USMNT has hosted a match at Rio Tinto Stadium, bringing an end to a four-year hiatus for the federation. The team’s match against Costa Rica this year will be the second time the two countries have faced one another in Utah after the first match between the sides came via a 2006 World Cup Qualifying Final Round match at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City that drew over 40,000 fans in early-June 2005.
Most recently, the USMNT played host to Venezuela on June 3, 2017 in a World Cup tune-up match that saw the teams finish level with a 1-1 scoreline. The USMNT boasts a record of 3-0-1 record at Real Salt Lake’s Sandy home, including a pair of victories in World Cup Qualifying over El Salvador (2009) and Honduras (2013). Overall, the U.S. has won four of its five matches on Utah soil since 1990, including a World Cup Qualifying victory over Costa Rica at Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2005 and a Gold Cup win over Cuba in 2013.
Rio Tinto Stadium has historically proved a fortress for the USMNT and helped solidify crucial results for the USMNT through competitions such as World Cup qualifying and Concacaf Gold Cup. Below is the full results list from matches the USMNT has hosted at Rio Tinto Stadium.
June 4, 2005 – USMNT 3-0 Costa Rica – World Cup Qualifying
The first match the USMNT played on Utah soil drew nearly 40,000 fans at Rice Eccles Stadium in a match that saw a resounding victory for the Stars and Stripes.
September 5, 2009 – USMNT 2-1 El Salvador – World Cup Qualifying
After falling behind in the first half, the USMNT rallied and secured goals from Landon Donovan and Jozy Altidore to secure the victory in its first match at Rio Tinto Stadium.
June 18, 2013 – USMNT 1-0 Honduras – World Cup Qualifying
Within the hexagonal World Cup Qualifying tournament the States secured a 1-0 victory courtesy of a second half goal from Jozy Altidore that helped push the team to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
July 13, 2013 – USMNT 4-1 Cuba – Concacaf Gold Cup
With an afternoon kickoff in Sandy, the USMNT saw RSL members Nick Rimando, Tony Beltran and Kyle Beckerman start the match. Beckerman provided an assist on the USMNT’s third goal of the afternoon.
June 3, 2017 – USMNT 1-1 Venezuela – Friendly
In its last trip to the Wasatch Front, Christian Pulisic notched the lone goal for the USMNT while then-RSL member Jefferson Savarino represented the visitors in the friendly.
Kickoff is set for June 9 at Rio Tinto Stadium with the match being broadcast live nationally on ESPN2 and Univision. Details to purchase tickets to the match will be announced in the coming weeks.