Real Salt Lake's long rumored USL Pro team will begin play starting in 2015, according to RSL communications.
The news was mentioned on last night's On Frame radio show and was later confirmed by RSL Vice President of Communications Trey Fitzgerald. The plan currently is for the team to play at Rio Tinto Stadium during the construction of the new stadium that was recently announced to be built at the Utah State Fairpark. At that time, the USL Pro team would move to that location.
Prior to this news, it had been assumed that RSL would enter into some type of collaboration with an already established USL Pro team. At a media luncheon held back in March, General Manager Garth Lagerwey had said that it was likely that the team would form a short term affiliation for the 2015 season with an existing team. Clearly those plans have now changed.
There are many benefits for RSL to create their own USL Pro team as soon as possible. It will allow the team to give many of their younger players much needed playing time. By creating their own club, it also gives them control of the coaching and the system that will be played. By doing this they can mimic the style of play of the first team. Also by having the team play locally, it makes it much easier to move players back and forth between the first team and the USL Pro team.