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Welcome to Utah: A letter to our new women’s soccer team

Welcome to Utah, from the RSL Family

Manchester United v Real Salt Lake Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

To all the players and staff that are about to make their way to Salt Lake City for the 2018 NWSL Season, let us be among the first to welcome you to Utah.

This can’t be an easy time for you, learning that you are moving to a new place to continue what you have built together. What I want you to know is that the RSL Family is big, and strong, and will do everything we can to make our home feel like your home for however long you are with us.

Our men’s first team is about to start its 14th season, and we’ve been with them from the beginning in 2005 as they sparked the fire of our passion for the beautiful game. We’ve been here for all the highs and lows: Winning MLS Cup in 2009, opening the beautiful Rio Tinto Stadium that you will also call your home, coming within inches of winning a second championship, as well as reaching the finals of both the U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League. The saying around here is, “The Team Is The Star,” and our anthem teaches us to “Believe.” It’s all about being unified in our passion and supporting one another as we seek the highest success.

The men’s second team, Real Monarchs, begins their 4th season after having the best year in team history, being crowned USL Regular Season Champions and making the playoffs for the first time in team history. The phrase “Rise To Royalty” is painted on the wall of their locker room; a statement that embraces the name we chose for ourselves and the path we take to develop the best talent to ensure the future of the club remains bright.

We’re no strangers to women’s soccer either. Real Salt Lake Women have played in the second-tier leagues WPSL and UWS for the last 5 seasons. Formed from a club named Salt Lake United, their team motto is “Dedication To Each Other”, and it shines through both their style of play and their passion for helping others off the field as well. They’ve worn the club’s crest with honor and pride, and worked diligently to build a foundation that will help us support you as you join our family.

We’ve seen players come and go, and when someone leaves our family we can take it pretty hard. That’s because when you join us we give you our whole heart from the very beginning. Our owner has spoken often over the years about his passion for the women’s game, and it’s a fulfillment of his dreams to bring you here to play. For those of us who love women’s soccer, including the thousands of girls and young women who play the sport in Utah, this is an incredible moment for us to have the opportunity to see the best players in the world in person.

It’s not just about the soccer though. We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The amazing mountain ranges, which you can see from the stadium and the academy, are stunning to look at and offer countless opportunities to play. The beauty of our National Parks in the south are among the best in the country. Our city is growing fast, but we’re still somewhat of a small town at heart. We love to care for one another, and our families are very important to us. No matter where you’re from, or who you are, we want you to feel like you belong here with us.

This has all happened so fast, and there’s a lot still to do before the first ball rolls, but we’re excited to have you in Salt Lake City. We’re proud of all you have accomplished, and ready to see you reach even greater heights in the future. Our hearts, our homes, and our stadiums are open to you all, and we can’t wait for April to get here so we can pack the RioT to stand, sing, and cheer for you.