You all know I am not a big fan of just posting press releases but in this case I will make an exception:
REAL SALT LAKE UNVEILS 2010 REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE
RSL Kicks off Title Defense March 27 at San Jose LIVE on Fox Soccer Channel;
Rio Tinto Stadium Slate Begins April 10 vs. Seattle Sounders FC;
MLS Cup 2009 Champions to Make Franchise-High Eight National TV Appearances between ESPN2, Fox Soccer Channel and TeleFutura
SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, February 3, 2010) - Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer today unveiled the defending MLS Cup champions' regular-season slate for the upcoming 2010 campaign, with the Saturday, April 10 Home Opener marking the season's Rio Tinto Stadium debut. Kicking off at 7:00 p.m. MT, RSL hosts second-year squad Seattle Sounders FC during its lone April home game. The team's "Carnival Real" festivities on the East Lawn (bordering State Street) continue in 2010, opening two hours prior to kickoff on Opening Day and 60 minutes prior to kickoff for most other RSL games.
More after the Jump:
Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis' team kicks off the year with four of its first five games away from home, a stretch which includes the previously announced 2010 opener on Fox Soccer Channel at the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, March 27 and then a second consecutive national TV appearance on Thursday, April 1 at Houston Dynamo in a game to be televised on ESPN2. Following RSL's April 10 home opener, the team returns to the road with the first of two MLS Cup 2009 rematches against the Los Angeles Galaxy on April 17 (live at 8:30 p.m. MT on Fox Soccer Channel) before heading to Ohio to face the Columbus Crew on April 24 against the 2008 Cup champions, whom RSL vanquished in the first round last year en route to the club's first-ever title.
Following the road-heavy April stretch, which could also include an additional game against a fellow MLS team as part of 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Qualifying (site TBD), Real Salt Lake returns for most of May and June to its Rio Tinto Stadium home, where the team has posted a dominant 19-3-11 mark in MLS regular- and post-season play during 2008 and 2009. RSL playsseven of its next nine league matches at home between May 1 and July 2. During the impressive Rio Tinto Stadium run, RSL welcomes Major League Soccer's 16th team, the expansion Philadelphia Union, on Sat., May 8; hosts both the last MLS game prior to FIFA 2010 World Cup South Africa group play - on Wed., June 9 vs. LA - as well as the first MLS game after the conclusion of group play - Fri., June 25 vs. San Jose; and continues its traditional Independence Day Fireworks Spectacular on Friday, July 2 at 8:00 p.m. MT versus the New England Revolution. Also in the month of July, and for the sixth consecutive season, RSL will again offer post-event fireworks as a continuation of the team's Pioneer Day tradition, welcoming Chivas USA on Saturday, July 24 (8:00 p.m.).
With the exception of the two Saturday bye weekends affected by Major League Soccer's FIFA 2010 South Africa group play hiatus (June 12 and 19), Real Salt Lake will enjoy only one other bye week from MLS play throughout the year, occurring on Saturday, August 21. The timing of that break meshes well with the team's entry into the 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League group stage, which will see RSL face other regional clubs from North & Central America and the Caribbean in six games - three home, three away - to be played in August (two games), September (three games) and October (one game). CONCACAF will perform the 2010/11 CCL draw on May 24 at its New York headquarters.
Saturday nights represent "game night" for the 2010 Real Salt Lake campaign, with 23 of 30 game dates - including 12 of 15 at home - occurring on either weekends or holidays. RSL hosts three (3) non-holiday weeknight home events: Wednesday, June 9 vs. Los Angeles; Thursday, May 13 vs. Houston and Friday, June 25 vs. San Jose. On two occasions - May 1, May 8 and May 13 (Toronto, Philadelphia and Houston); and on June 9, June 25 and July 2 (Los Angeles, San Jose and New England) - RSL hosts three consecutive MLS home games, only the fourth and fifth such occasions in team history. On July 24 and 31 (Chivas USA and D.C. United) and on Sept. 18 and 25 (Chicago and Colorado), RSL hosts back-to-back MLS games at its Rio Tinto Stadiumhome.
Defending Champion Real Salt Lake will be forced to hit the road for back-to-back away games on five occasions in 2010, including the two early-season instances (March 27 and April 1 at San Jose and Houston; April 17 and 24 at Los Angeles and Columbus); and then once each on July 8 and 17 (at Chicago and Dallas), on August 7 and 11 (at Kansas City and Philadelphia) and on October 2 and 9 (at New England and New York). The trips to Philadelphia's new stadium in suburban Chester, Penn. (Aug. 11), and Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. (Oct. 9), will mark Real Salt Lake's first visits to the League's newest MLS-specific stadiums, these latest additions - the first since the opening of Rio Tinto Stadium in October 2008 - bringing the number of such venues to nine.
Real Salt Lake will face each of its 15 MLS opponents once at home and on the road, the 30-game regular season resulting in the first truly "balanced" slate in RSL's six-year history. For the fourth consecutive season, RSL ends the year with the deciding Rocky Mountain Cup match against Colorado, with the venue for the critical and potentially playoff-determining match shifting back to Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. for the third time in the last four seasons.
RSL will be featured on national television eight times - two more features than last season - between League broadcast partners ESPN2 and Fox Soccer Channel (and their Spanish-language sister-stations, ESPN Deportes and Fox Sports en Español, respectively), as well as Univision-owned TeleFutura. The 2010 MLS season once again, for the fourth consecutive year, places the entirety of its schedule - 240 games across the 16-team League - on either national or regional television. Of the eight national TV match-ups featuring Real Salt Lake, only three - May 13 v. Houston, Sept. 18 v. Chicago and Sept. 25 v. Colorado - emanate from the team's world-class Rio Tinto Stadium home, while the other five will showcase the current Cup Champions' road form. Real Salt Lake's regional broadcast schedule on KUTV 2 (CBS) is currently being finalized and will be unveiled in the near future. The entire MLS schedule, including individual team schedules, is available at www.MLSnet.com.
Real Salt Lake returns 12 of the 14 players who appeared in last November's MLS Cup 2009 victory in Seattle against Los Angeles, including Cup MVP Nick Rimando, Captain Kyle Beckermanand 2009 RSL Golden Boot winner Robbie Findley. 2009 RSL Team MVP Nat Borchers returns, as does his partner in central defense, imposing Colombian DF Jamison Olave. Argentine playmaker Javier Morales and forward Fabían Espíndola return once again, as do DF Chris Wingert, fan-favorite Andy Williams (RSL's lone player remaining from the team's inaugural season) and DF Robbie Russell and MF Ned Grabavoy, each of whom converted game-winning penalty kicks in the 2009 Conference and League Finals. Young RSL stars on the rise back for 2010 include MF Will Johnson, DF Tony Beltran, FW Pablo Campos and MF Jean Alexandre.
DAY DATE MATCHUP TIME (MT) TV NOTE:
Sat. March 27 @ San Jose Earthquakes 7:00 FSC Title defense kicks off at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara
Thu. April 1 @ Houston Dynamo 7:00 ESPN2 '09 Champs square off against 2007/08 Cup-winning Dynamo
SAT. APRIL 10 SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 7:00 RSL to honor Cup-winning team at 2010 home opener
Sat. April 17 @ Los Angeles Galaxy 8:30 FSC First of two MLS Cup 2009 rematches
Sat. April 24 @ Columbus Crew 5:30 RSL returns to site of '09 MLS Cup Playoff glory
SAT. MAY 1 TORONTO FC 7:00 Leg one of first 3-game homestand since 2007
SAT. MAY 8 PHILADELPHIA UNION 7:00 Expansion Union make first-ever visit to Rio Tinto Stadium
THU. MAY 13 HOUSTON DYNAMO 7:00 ESPN2 Five of last six RSL-Dynamo clashes have seen red cards
Sat. May 22 @ Chivas USA 8:30 Return to site of first road win in 2009
Mon. May 24 CONCACAF Champions League 2010/11 Group Draw - CONCACAF HQ - New York City
SAT. MAY 29 KANSAS CITY WIZARDS 7:00 RSL's lone 2009 home loss came against Kansas City
Sat. June 5 @ D.C. United 5:30 RSL 4-4-2 all-time against MLS' most decorated side
WED. JUNE 9 LOS ANGELES GALAXY 7:00 MLS Cup 2009 rematch last MLS game prior to MLS hiatus
FRI. JUNE 25 SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 7:00 Extra-time own goal saw potential SJ win at RTS fade in ‘09
FRI. JULY 2 N.E. REVOLUTION 8:00 RSL fireworks tradition relocates permanently to Sandy
Thu. July 8 @ Chicago Fire 7:30 ESPN2 RSL returns to site of winning East Final in PKs last year
Sat. July 17 @ FC Dallas 6:30 Pizza Hut Park welcomes defending MLS Cup champs
SAT. JULY 24 CHIVAS USA 8:00 Pioneer Day celebration awaits ‘05 expansion brethren
SAT. JULY 31 D.C. UNITED 7:00 Onalfo leads United into Rio Tinto
Sat. Aug. 7 @ Kansas City Wizards 6:30 RSL returns to site of rare road clean sheet in 2009
Wed. Aug. 11 @ Philadelphia Union 5:30 First-ever visit to face Union in Chester, PA's new stadium
SAT. AUG. 14 COLUMBUS CREW 7:00 Schelloto and Co. return to RTS for first time since Playoffs
Wed. Aug. 18 CCL Group Game #1
Wed. Aug. 25 CCL Group Game #2
Sat. Aug. 28 @ Toronto FC 5:00 First game for RSL on BMO Field's new grass surface
SAT. SEPT. 4 NEW YORK RED BULLS 7:00 Red Bulls make customary late-season visit to Rio Tinto
Thu. Sept. 9 @ Seattle Sounders FC 9:00 ESPN2 RSL returns to Qwest Field for first time since MLS Cup win
Wed. Sept. 15 CCL Group Game #3
SAT. SEPT. 18 CHICAGO FIRE 2:00 TELEFUTURA Matinee first match on national Spanish TV partner since ‘07
Wed. Sept. 22 CCL Group Game #4
SAT. SEPT. 25 COLORADO RAPIDS 8:00 FSC RSL looking to keep Rocky Mountain Cup for 4th straight year
Wed. Sept. 29 CCL Group Game #5
Sat. Oct. 2 @ New England Revolution 5:30 RSL has taken points from 3 of 5 visits to Gillette Stadium
Sat. Oct. 9 @ New York Red Bulls 5:30 First trip to Red Bull Arena could hold playoff implications
SAT. OCT. 16 FC DALLAS 7:00 "Hoops" close out regular season slate at Rio Tinto Stadium
Wed. Oct. 20 CCL Group Game #6
Sat. Oct. 23 @ Colorado Rapids 7:00 Rivals close out season at DSG Park for third time in 4 years
(Home games in BOLD CAPS; road games in road italics; all times p.m./MT;