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Real Salt Lake schedules a June 19th friendly with Puntarenas FC of Costa Rica

Here is the official press release announcing the rumored "friendly" on June 19th, no longer a rumor:

PUNTARENAS F.C. ON SAT., JUNE 19

Defending MLS Cup Champs Schedule Central American Power in CONCACAF Tune-Up;

RSL Season Ticket Holders Use "Exhibition A" Ticket at Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:00 p.m. MT

SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, June 9, 2010) - In preparation for Real Salt Lake's upcoming participation in the 2010-11 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League, the team welcomes Costa Rican power Puntarenas to the Wasatch Front on Saturday, June 19, with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium. The contest against Puntarenas represents Real Salt Lake's 14th international exhibition game during its first six seasons, just weeks prior to the team's first-ever foray into meaningful international competition against the slew of CONCACAF opponents during the region's Champions League Group Play.

Officially named Puntarenas F.C., the club is based in the Costa Rican city of the same name, capitol of the eponymous province on the Pacific Ocean side of the Central American country. Since being founded in 2004, Puntarenas have established themselves as a perennial contender in the Costa Rican First Division, with five semifinal appearances in the last nine tournaments and a berth in the 2007 CONCACAF Champions Cup Quarterfinals (now known as the CONCACAF Champions League).

More after the jump:

"On the heels of some outstanding international games in 2009, we are looking to take the next step forward as a club and establish ourselves not just as MLS Champions, but as a regional powerhouse in 2010," said Real Salt Lake General Manager Garth Lagerwey, recalling the 2009 MLS All-Star Game featuring Everton FC (England) and the U.S. Men's World Cup Qualifier vs. El Salvador, as well as visits last year by Mexican powers Club América and Chivas de Guadalajara, "In order to accomplish that we must succeed in the CONCACAF Champions League.  We are excited to host Puntarenas for this match, as they are precisely the type of opponent we will face later this fall.  We hope our fans will swell with Utah pride and come out to support us as we prepare to take on the world and put RSL on the map." 

After failing to qualify for the playoffs in their inaugural Apertura and Clausura seasons, Puntarenas reached the First Division semifinals in each of the last four seasons. In December, the club advanced to the finals of 2009 playoffs, known as the "Campeonato Invierno de Scotiabank," the first finals appearance in club history, but lost to Brujas FC, 5-4 on penalty kicks after finishing their two-game series tied 1-1. In the recently-completed 2010 "Campeonato Verano de Scotiabank," Puntarenas again advanced to the postseason stage, losing to Alajuelense 3-5 on aggregate in the quarterfinals and ending their season. The team's aggregate record in 40 games played between the 2009/10 Invierno/Verano seasons was 10-14-16 for 46 points, with 42 goals scored and 53 goals allowed, placing the team 7th overall across the two campaigns.

Puntarenas are managed by Jorge Walter González Estévez, who took charge of the club back on January 6, prior to the start of the current season. The 55-year-old Uruguayan has more than 20 years of coaching experience in Chile, Indonesia and his native Uruguay.

All-time, RSL has posted a 6-4-3 mark against visiting international squads, with a positive goal differential (17 goals for / 16 goals against). Puntarenas joins some of the planet's most revered clubs in facing Real Salt Lake, as Spain's Real Madrid (2006), Argentina's Boca Juniors (2007), England's Everton FC (2007/09) and Mexico's Club América and Chivas de Guadalajara (2009) have previously blazed the trail to Utah.

All Real Salt Lake season ticket holders are assured of their current seats for the Saturday, June 19 contest vs. Puntarenas F.C. by using tickets labeled "Exhibition Game A" and have the ability to purchase a select number of additional, specially-priced tickets. Tickets go on sale to the general public via www.RioTintoStadium.com THURSDAY morning at 10:00 a.m. MT.

Ticket prices for the Saturday, June 19 Real Salt Lake vs. Puntarenas match begin at $14 for those purchasing KFC vouchers (visit KFC locations along the Wasatch Front or the Rio Tinto Stadium box office for information on the KFC "Kids' Club tickets for Saturday, June 19). Puntarenas stand-alone prices start at just $15 for Upper Deck seats and continue at $18 and $20 in the North and South Goals, $30 in the Lower Sideline area, $40 at East Side Midfield and$60 in the Front Row and West Side Midfield areas.  For more information, please visit www.RealSaltLake.com or www.RioTintoStadium.com.

OFF MY SOAPBOX