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Five away games you should make in 2017

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Thinking about taking in an away match? We’ve got some tips on some you should consider.

Before I sat down to write this, I started thinking about the things that worried me most before my first Real Salt Lake-themed trip, and if I’m being entirely honest, some of them are still present when I think about future trips.

Will the fans be friendly? Is this something my family can go to and feel safe? Which trip is the most affordable? When is the best time to go? Which would be the most fun? The answers to these questions will obviously be different for everyone, but this piece will try to provide answers that are suitable for any RSL fan anyway. Here are the five away trips you should consider going on this upcoming year.

5. April 15, RSL vs Colorado Rapids

There isn’t much that can be said about Colorado that hasn’t already been said about Kansas City. Their fans are annoying at best and friendly at worst. Their stadium isn’t as nice as the Riot and our fans were louder than theirs the last time I went. It’s close, it’s cheap, and it’s fun.

The last time we went, we drove out Friday and spent all of Saturday in Denver before driving the short trip to our hotel in Commerce City. The hotel provided a shuttle to the stadium, and was filled with RSL supporters. Trust me when I say that this trip is the closest you will get to feeling like you’re at a home game away from home. Coming in the middle of April is a mix bag as far as weather is concerned, but if it is closer to spring than winter, it would make for a great first trip of the season.

4. May 20, RSL vs Seattle

Although it isn’t the most fun drive to make in one go, Seattle more than makes up for it in beauty. The city is pretty, and even though it’s a football stadium, the venue is very nice. Where they just won the MLS Cup, their fans may be (rightfully) arrogant, but that shouldn’t stop you from going and enjoying yourself. Real Salt Lake is currently advertising flights to Seattle with Alaska Airlines which is something to consider for any fan hoping for a quick, soccer getaway.

3. June 24, RSL vs San Jose

San Jose has been one of my personal favorite trips to take because Avaya Stadium is nice and there is a lot to do in the city. The first thing that should be on any visit to San Jose must be the Winchester Mystery House. The tour is cheap and the house is beautiful. From there, head straight to Iguanas and get the Burritozilla—a 5-pound monster of a meal fit for any traveling fan.

Their fans keep to themselves, parking there was easy, and there is a sort of opening from the locker room to the stadium where fans can stand and wish their favorite players luck as they step onto the field. This is a very affordable trip that is as family friendly as any trip can get. If you feel inclined, drive up to San Francisco before the game and make a day of it.

2. July 19, RSL vs Portland

Portland is probably the best trip to take, and it is only number two on the list because it falls on a Wednesday. Portland may be famous for Voodoo Donuts, and while they are delicious, Blue Star donuts takes the cake for me. Try both and decide for yourself would be the best advice I can give. Another piece of advice I can give is to go hungry and try every food truck that you see; they are close to each other and to the stadium, and almost everything is within a short walking distance of most hotels you could possibly stay at.

Book lovers must make Powell’s bookstore the first stop, but soccer lovers would be fine hanging out in some of the local bars. Timbers fans are some of the nicest people anyone will ever meet, and the stadium is beautiful. It is very family friendly and affordable, there is amazing food on every corner, and the sights are second to none.

1. September 30, RSL vs LA

LA is wonderful for soccer fans and even better for Disney fans. This trip happens to fall on a time that is perfect for California weather and just in time for all the Halloween celebrations at Disneyland. Overall, the fans are relaxed. They didn’t bother us and were happy to make friends if the opportunity presented itself. The drive down can get a little boring between Vegas and LA, but it is a quick flight and perfect for a small weekend. If you do end up driving, parking is easier than I expected it to be, but be wary of California drivers… Seriously.

Because this game will fall right around the time that we will be wanting to play our best soccer, there is much that can be said about the importance of it already—any western conference team is someone we should look at in detail, but to face one away from home so close to the end of the season means that our boys would be happy to see any claret and cobalt at Stubhub.