From left to right: Real Salt Lake Head Coach Jason Kreis as Luke Skywalker, Assistant Miles Joseph as Han Solo, Goalkeeping Coach Jeff Cassar as Chewbacca and Assistant C.J. Brown as Lando Calrissian.
May the 4th be with you.
You’ve seen the poster and you’ve seen the Twitter pictures; you may have even spotted him at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Until now, though, you may not have known the identity of Real Salt Lake’s favorite bounty hunter, Garrett Davis. A RSL season ticket holder since the inaugural season in 2005 and a huge Star Wars fan, Davis attends every Claret-and-Cobalt home match in a full-body, RSL-themed Boba Fett suit.
With that sort of commitment to both club and Empire, you can imagine how excited Davis was when he first heard that RSL would be hosting Star Wars Day at Rio Tinto Stadium for this Saturday’s match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
“I have a hard time describing it,” he told RealSaltLake.com on Tuesday. “My wife said it perfectly: Just saying I’m excited about Saturday’s match is an understatement. It’s definitely two of my passions, it’s a match made in heaven. It’s like peanut butter and jelly, having RSL and Star Wars together. I’ve seen other teams in different leagues do something like this and I always thought it’d be great to have here and I’m really excited to be a part of the festivities. My brother called me to let me know I was on the poster and I was absolutely ecstatic to be a part of it.”
For those who don’t know, Boba Fett is a villainous bounty hunter who first appeared in the second Star Wars film, The Empire Strikes Back. Davis began putting his Fett costume together last season, when he bought his helmet, painted it Claret and Cobalt and started wearing it to games. He even got it signed by most RSL players at last year’s “Meet the Team” event, several of whom – most notably noted Star Wars fan Tony Beltran – got a kick out of the head gear.
He took things up a notch this season, buying the full-body suit to match his helmet. And, despite his character’s evil tendencies – Boba Fett pals around with Darth Vader and Jabba the Hutt in George Lucas’s iconic series – Davis has been embraced by RSL fans, who often pose for pictures with him at home games.
“It’s been incredible,” he said of the fan reaction to his costume. “Even last year when I just had the mask it was great. This year, with the full suit, it’s just been incredible. It’s been really fun to take pictures with other fans and the reception’s always great when I’m walking into the stadium with friends and family.”
Davis – who said he’s “a little nervous” about wearing the suit to the stadium in the summer heat – will participate in Saturday’s “May the 4th be with you” festivities as the RSL Season Ticket Holder of the Game. You’ll have a chance to catch him on the Rio Tinto Stadium big screen before the match as he leads the Parade of Kings out onto the field.
“It’s a fun way to combine two passions of mine and a fun way to express my fandom to the club,” he said. “Putting together the costume with the RSL colors and logo shows some extra passion, I guess. Luckily, it hasn't driven away my wife and she still comes to games with me."
Real Salt Lake couldn’t rebound from a slow start against the LA Galaxy on Saturday night, giving up two early goals to fall to the Southern California side 2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Here are a few interesting numbers from Saturday’s match:
Real Salt Lake forward Olmes Garcia has hit the post/crossbar four times in five appearances this year. Garcia hit the crossbar on Saturday, powerfully heading a corner kick over Galaxy ‘keeper Brian Rowe and off the bar in second half stoppage time.
The number of players who were late scratches from the RSL lineup on Saturday. Leading scorer Alvaro Saborio was taken out of the starting lineup due to a left quad injury initially suffered on Friday and fellow forward Robbie Findley was removed from the 18 due to a knee injury also originally sustained on Friday.
Real Salt Lake has now given up three goals in the first 15 minutes of matches this year after conceding in the 6th and 13th minutes on Saturday. The Claret-and-Cobalt did not allow a single goal in the first 15 minutes in all of 2012.
The number of career regular season appearances for Real Salt Lake captain Kyle Beckerman after he went the full 90 on Saturday. Beckerman’s appearance on Saturday moved him past RSL Head Coach Jason Kreis (305) and into a tie for 15th place in MLS history on the games played list. KB5 is now tied on 306 appearances with former LA Galaxy player Cobi Jones, who was at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday night as part of the Galaxy’s TV broadcast.
Sept. 25, 2011
Prior to Saturday night’s two-goal defeat, the last time that Real Salt Lake lost a home game by multiple goals in MLS play was on Sept. 25, 2011, when the 10-man Claret-and-Cobalt fell 3-0 to the Chicago Fire at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Some solid footage from RSL training, courtesy team videographer Nick Lamping. Check it out.
Really fun video of RSL's Lalo Fernandez and Carlos Salcedo going through their match day routine.
Spoiler alert: Lalo loves to dance.
A fantastic crowd of 8,236 braved the cold, wind and red cards to come out to Rio Tinto Stadium to see the Real Salt Lake Reserves tie USL Pro club Phoenix FC 0-0 on Monday night.
Monday's big crowd – which had nearly 2,000 more people in attendance than RSL's April 1 exhibition game against BYU – wasn’t lost on RSL players, who complimented the Claret-and-Cobalt faithful in the media and on Twitter after the match.
Here’s some of what they had to say:
Defender Chris Wingert:
"It's unbelievable," Wingert told reporters after the game. "We can't thank everybody enough for coming out. I wish we could've scored a couple of goals for them just to make it a litte more exciting for everyone, but, with that being said, a huge thanks goes out to everyone. I never would have imagined we would've been able to have that many people here for [this game and the BYU game], so its pretty special."
Huge Crowd again tonight at the Reserve Game- thanks to everyone who came out and froze their butt off. We appreciate you!
— Chris Wingert (@wingert17) April 23, 2013
Midfielder Sebastian Velasquez:
Unbelievable Support From Our FansAt Our Reserve Match! The Best Fans By Far In The MLS! Honestly Thank You ⚽⚽⚽#RSLFamily
— SeBasTian VeLasQueZ (@TiaN_Futbol) April 23, 2013
Forward Devon Sandoval:
Amazing support from the fans tonight, wish we could have got a win for you
— Devon Sandoval (@Big_Dev49) April 23, 2013
Midfielder John Stertzer:
Big thanks to all the fans that came out to last nights game. Best fans in the league! #RSLFamily
— John Stertzer(@StertzerJohn) April 23, 2013
Defender Carlos Salcedo:
— Carlos Salcedo (@csalcedojr) April 23, 2013
Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella:
8000+ for a reserve game!Thanks to everyone that came out and supported. Time to get ready for a big game this weekend #RSLFamily
— Jeff Attinella (@Jeff_Attinella1) April 23, 2013
Midfielder David Viana:
I Enjoy playing in the Rio tinto stadium and i appreciatethe support of all the fans!
— david viana (@daviiid67) April 23, 2013
RSL kicked off its three-game home stand in style on Saturday night, beating Western Conference foe Chivas USA 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Here are a few interesting numbers from Saturday’s match:
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando’s penalty kick save on Chivas USA midfielder Edgar Mejia in the 36th minute of Saturday’s game moved the veteran ‘keeper to 18-for-59 (30.5 percent) on regular season penalty kicks in his career – the best mark in league history.
Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio assisted on midfielder Javier Morales’ goal on Saturday night, the first time that the Costa Rican international registered a helper on a Morales goal in regular season play.
Saturday’s win continued RSL’s recent dominance over Chivas USA, moving the Claret-and-Cobalt to 7-2-1 in regular season play against the Rojiblancos since the start of the 2009 season.
RSL forward Olmes Garcia made his first career MLS start on Saturday night, registering an assist and hitting the crossbar twice in 63 minutes of action. The 20-year-old Garcia signed a five-year contract with RSL in February.
RSL has zero losses in three home games this year, with Saturday’s result moving the Utah side to 2-0-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium in 2013. The Claret-and-Cobalt will play six of its next nine league matches in Sandy, starting with this Saturday’s contest against Western Conference rival L.A. Galaxy.
When Real Salt Lake midfielder Sebastian Velasquez subbed on for Luis Gil in the 74th minute of Saturday's 1-0 win over Chivas USA, the Rio Tinto Stadium crowd (specifically, Section 35) started a fantastic "Rufio" chant.
Study the image and make the call in the comments section. Bangarang.
RSL walked all over Chivas USA the last time the sides met, getting a hat trick from forward Alvaro Saborio - who played only 74 minutes - to beat the Goats 4-0 at the Home Depot Center on Sept. 29, 2012.
Check out highlights of that match above. RSL hosts Chivas USA at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake youngsters Carlos Salcedo and Lalo Fernandez both spent time in the Chivas Guadalajara academy earlier in their careers, with Salcedo playing there in 2009 and Fernandez at the academy from 2008-2010.
The pair of Guadalajara natives talked about their time in the Chivas academy ahead of Saturday's home match against Guadalajara's sister club Chivas USA. Check out the above video to see the roommates and RSL-Arizona Academy grads dish on life with Guadalajara and their tight connection with Chivas USA midfielder Giovani Casillas.