So today was a good and bad day for Real Salt Lake, and since I want to get it out of the way first here is the bad news:
SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, June 15, 2011) - Due to a last-minute conflict, Real Salt Lake announces that the OneRepublic post-game concert originally scheduled to conclude this Saturday's game has been rescheduled. The special concert featuring the Grammy-nominated and internationally-acclaimed musical group will now take place following Real Salt Lake's contest against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, Sept. 17, which kicks off at 7:00 p.m. MT.
"OneRepublic is fully committed to its many fans in Utah, and we will look forward to making up for lost time in mid-September," said the group in a statement through its representative, Creative Artists Agency. "We truly regret having to postpone at this late juncture, but would like to thank Real Salt Lake for rescheduling our appearance at Rio Tinto Stadium in such short order."
Due to the rescheduling of the OneRepublic post-game concert, ticket-holders for this Saturday's game against D.C. United (7:00 p.m. MT kickoff) have the following options for ticket exchanges:
- Fans may exchange their tickets to Saturday's match for the September 17 contest vs. Sporting Kansas City and the post-game OneRepublic concert at the Rio Tinto Stadium Box Office prior to this Saturday's 7:00 p.m. MT kickoff during regular business hours: today-Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. MT
- Non-season ticket-holding Fans who have already purchased tickets for Saturday's game in anticipation of the OneRepublic show will receive a $10 discount on game tickets for the rescheduled Sept. 17 date
- Real Salt Lake Season Ticket Holders who purchased additional seats at the special STH price for this Saturday's contest can exchange them for Sept. 17.
So while I know many people were looking forward to the concert, there is still what I expect to be a very good match to be played on Saturday against a DC United team that is dangerous. But there is some good news as well:
REAL SALT LAKE TO HOST JUNE 28TH LAMAR HUNT U.S. OPEN CUP THIRD ROUND CONTEST
RSL to Welcome Winner of Second Round Match-up between Charlotte and Wilmington in First Official U.S. Open Cup Contest Since 2006;
RSL Hopes to Use U.S. Soccer's National Championship as Springboard Back to CONCACAF Champions League
SANDY, Utah / CHICAGO (Wednesday, June 15, 2011) - Real Salt Lake today learned the possible opponents for its return to Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play, with the Claret-and-Cobalt drawing the winner of the Second Round contest between USL PRO sides Charlotte Eagles and Wilmington Hammerheads. Real Salt Lake will host the Third Round contest at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday, June 28, with kickoff slated for 7:00 p.m. MT.
Winning the 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup - U.S. Soccer's National Championship tournament - would offer Real Salt Lake a road back to the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, the continental club championship the Utah side was on the cusp of winning this past spring. Participation in MLS Cup 2011 and claiming the MLS Supporters' Shield (regular season) title would provide the other three routes for qualification into the 2012/13 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Tickets for RSL's debut in the 98th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will go on-sale to the public this Friday, June 17 at 12:00 p.m. MT, with tickets in all general seating areas at Rio Tinto Stadium costing just $5 for current Real Salt Lake Season Ticket Holders and only $10 for the general public. Real Salt Lake Season Ticket Holders are reminded that no U.S. Open Cup contests are included in their 2011 ticket package.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is an annual, single-elimination competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer, with a "closed bid" process determining the host teams in each round. For the first time in club history, Real Salt Lake enters the 2011 competition as one of six automatic MLS qualifiers to receive passage to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup's Third Round (Round of 16), doing so as a result of its finish in the top six of last year's MLS regular season standings.
This year's tournament proper kicked off Tuesday with 16 First Round matches contested across the country, with 13 of those games won by the home side. The 2011 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will continue with yesterday's 16 victors pairing off for Second Round fixtures next Tuesday, June 21, with the eight teams that emerge matching up against MLS opponents in the Third Round on June 28. The U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals will be held July 12/13, followed by the two Semifinal Round games on Aug. 30/31 and the Final on Oct. 4/5.
This year's appearance in the U.S. Open Cup proper marks RSL's first since 2006, the final season in which all MLS teams automatically entered the competition's earlier rounds. For the last four consecutive years, RSL was forced to try and earn its spot in the domestic tournament as one of at least nine Major League Soccer sides fighting for the two "play-in" positions allocated to America's top-flight division.
The 2011 champion will earn a $100,000 cash prize, while the runner-up will collect $50,000. The top Division III (USL PRO) and Amateur Division clubs (USL PDL, USASA & NPSL) will each receive a $10,000 prize (no Division II teams are participating in the 2011 U.S. Open Cup as the North American Soccer League did not obtain provisional sanctioning in time to be included). The winner also will have the team's name engraved on the historic Dewar Challenge Trophy, the oldest trophy in American team sports that is housed in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, N.Y. The tournament has crowned a champion for 97 consecutive years dating back to 1914.
For a long time many MLS teams (RSL included) looked at the US Open Cup as a chore more than something to be embraced, but for some clubs it has been a huge part of their organization. DC United, Chicago Fire, and most recently the Seattle Sounders have all put forth real efforts to win the US Open Cup and while RSL has most often had to fight through the silly qualifying process for MLS teams (very stupid on US Soccer's part), this year they claimed one of the guaranteed spots. Now with very low ticket prices and a chance at a trophy (and qualifying spot for next years Champions League) on the line, will fans show up to support the home team?
If you have a large family, or want to bring a group out, this is a great and affordable match to attend.
OFF MY SOAPBOX