RSL Sets June 19 Date With Puntarenas FC

Costa Rican side to serve as preparation for CCL play

REAL SALT LAKE
TO HOST COSTA RICAN CLUB

PUNTARENAS F.C.
ON SAT., JUNE 19

Defending MLS Cup Champs Schedule Central American
Power in CONCACAF Tune-Up;

RSL Season Ticket Holders Use “Exhibition A” Ticket at
Rio Tinto Stadium at 7:00 p.m. MT

 

SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, June 9,
2010) – In preparation for Real Salt Lake’s upcoming participation in
the 2010-11 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League, the team welcomes
Costa Rican power Puntarenas to the Wasatch Front on Saturday, June
19, with a 7:00 p.m. kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The contest against
Puntarenas represents Real Salt Lake’s 14th international exhibition
game during its first six seasons, just weeks prior to the team’s first-ever
foray into meaningful international competition against the slew of CONCACAF
opponents during the region’s Champions League Group Play.

 

Officially named Puntarenas
F.C.,
the club is based in the
Costa
Rican city of the same name, capitol of the eponymous province on the Pacific
Ocean side of the Central American country. Since being founded in 2004,
Puntarenas have established themselves as a perennial contender in the Costa
Rican First Division,
with five semifinal appearances in the last nine
tournaments and a berth in the 2007 CONCACAF Champions Cup Quarterfinals (now
known as the CONCACAF Champions League).


"On the heels of some outstanding international games in 2009, we are
looking to take the next step forward as a club and establish ourselves not
just as MLS Champions, but as a regional powerhouse in 2010,” said Real Salt
Lake General Manager Garth Lagerwey, recalling the 2009 MLS
All-Star Game featuring Everton FC (England) and the U.S. Men's World
Cup Qualifier vs. El Salvador, as well as visits last year by Mexican
powers Club América and Chivas de Guadalajara, "In order to
accomplish that we must succeed in the CONCACAF Champions League.  We are
excited to host Puntarenas for this match, as they are precisely the type of
opponent we will face later this fall.  We hope our fans will swell with
Utah pride and come out to support us as we prepare to take on the world and
put RSL on the map." 

 

After failing to qualify for the playoffs in
their inaugural Apertura and Clausura seasons, Puntarenas reached the First
Division semifinals in each of the last four seasons
. In December, the club
advanced to the finals of 2009 playoffs, known as the “Campeonato Invierno de
Scotiabank,” the first finals appearance in club history, but lost to Brujas
FC, 5-4 on penalty kicks after finishing their two-game series tied 1-1. In the
recently-completed 2010 “Campeonato Verano de Scotiabank,” Puntarenas again
advanced to the postseason stage
, losing to Alajuelense 3-5 on aggregate in
the quarterfinals and ending their season. The team’s aggregate record in 40
games played between the 2009/10 Invierno/Verano seasons was 10-14-16 for 46
points, with 42 goals scored and 53 goals allowed, placing the team 7th
overall across the two campaigns.

 

Puntarenas are managed by Jorge Walter
González Estévez
, who took charge of the club back on January 6, prior to
the start of the current season. The 55-year-old Uruguayan has more than 20
years of coaching experience in Chile, Indonesia and his native Uruguay.

 

All-time, RSL has posted a 6-4-3 mark against
visiting international squads
, with a positive goal differential (17 goals
for / 16 goals against). Puntarenas joins some of the planet’s most revered
clubs in facing Real Salt Lake, as Spain’s Real Madrid (2006),
Argentina’s Boca Juniors (2007), England’s Everton FC (2007/09)
and Mexico’s Club América and Chivas de Guadalajara (2009) have
previously blazed the trail to Utah.

 

All Real Salt Lake season ticket
holders are assured of their current seats
for the Saturday, June 19
contest vs. Puntarenas F.C. by using tickets labeled “Exhibition Game A” and
have the ability to purchase a select number of additional, specially-priced
tickets. Tickets go on sale to the general public via www.RioTintoStadium.com THURSDAY
morning at 10:00 a.m. MT.

 

Ticket prices for the Saturday,
June 19 Real Salt Lake vs. Puntarenas match begin at $14 for those purchasing
KFC vouchers (visit KFC locations along the Wasatch Front or the Rio Tinto
Stadium box office for information on the KFC “Kids’ Club tickets for Saturday,
June 19). Puntarenas stand-alone prices start at just $15 for Upper Deck
seats and continue at $18 and $20 in the North and South Goals,
$30 in the Lower Sideline area, $40 at East Side Midfield and $60
in the Front Row and West Side Midfield areas.  For more information,
please visit www.RealSaltLake.com or www.RioTintoStadium.com.

 

As Major League Soccer’s 2009 Cup Champion,
Real Salt Lake earned a bye into the Group Stage portion of the tournament and
was drawn into Group A alongside another automatic qualifier, Panamanian
titlist and 2009-10 tournament quarterfinal participant Arabe Unido.
Those two squads will welcome into Group A another pair of qualifiers, which
will be determined when the Preliminary Round is contested over two legs on
July 27-29 and August 3-5. The winner of the Canadian Nutrilite Championship –
MLS’ Toronto FC – will take on Honduran champion Motagua for the
right to enter Group A, with the other spot to be determined between this
year’s tournament runner-up, Cruz Azul of Mexico, and another outfit
from Panama, San Francisco.

 

“We are pleased to see the puzzle of our
CONCACAF opposition begin to come together. When Real Salt Lake was founded in
2004, part of the franchise’s promise was to further integrate Utah into the
global community and make it a gateway to the world.  With upcoming games
now confirmed with teams from Panama, Canada, Honduras or Mexico that pledge is
now a reality,” said RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey. “The
CONCACAF Champions League is a major step in raising the profile of RSL on a
regional level.  We hope our fans are as excited as we are about these
upcoming tests against the best teams on the North American continent.”

 

Three other squads from North America’s
top-flight will take part in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League, beginning
with the Los Angeles Galaxy taking on last year’s tournament upstart, the USSF
Division II’s Puerto Rico Islanders – the current home of RSL defender David
Horst
, who was sent on loan to the Islanders in April. Defending Lamar Hunt
U.S. Open Cup winner Seattle Sounders FC will also enter in the Preliminary
Round against a yet-to-be-determined opponent from Central America, while last
year’s Supporters Shield holder Columbus Crew will forgo the opening round and
enter as part of the Group B pool, which currently includes Guatemalan powerhouse
Municipal.

 

The 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League begins
in late July
with the first leg of the Preliminary Round, wrapping up with
the second leg a week later. Those winners will advance to the Group Stage,
with the first of its six matchdays to be contested from August 17-19. Sites
and opponent fixtures for the Group Stage
– Real Salt Lake’s entry point –
will be determined and announced in the upcoming weeks. The Preliminary Round
schedule is as follows:

 



2010-11
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW

 

PRELIMINARY
ROUND – July 27-29 (Leg 1)
(Home
Team listed first)
Tuesday, July 27:
 

Toronto
FC (CAN) vs. Motagua (HON) – 6:00 p.m. MT

San
Juan Jabloteh (TRI) vs. Santos (MEX) – 6:00 p.m. MT

San
Francisco (PAN) vs. Cruz Azul (MEX) – 8:00 p.m. MT

Los
Angeles Galaxy (USA) vs. Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR) – 8:00 p.m. MT
Wednesday, July 28:

Tauro
FC (PAN) vs. Marathon (HON) – 6:00 p.m. MT
Brujas (CRC) vs. Joe Public (TRI) – 8:00 p.m. MT
Seattle Sounders (USA) vs. Metapan (SLV) – 8:00 p.m. MT

Thursday,
July 29:

CD FAS (SLV) vs. Xelaju (GUA) – 8:00 p.m. MT

PRELIMINARY
ROUND – August 3-5 (Leg 2)

Tuesday,
August 3:

Motagua
(HON) vs. Toronto FC (CAN) – 6:00 p.m. MT

Cruz
Azul (MEX) vs. San Francisco (PAN) – 6:00 p.m. MT

Metapan
(SLV) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (USA) – 8:00 p.m. MT

Wednesday,
August 4:

Puerto
Rico Islanders (PUR) vs. LA Galaxy (USA) – 6:00 p.m. MT

Marathon
(HON) vs. Tauro (PAN) – 8:00 p.m. MT

Santos
(MEX) vs. San Juan Jabloteh (TRI) – 8:00 p.m. MT

Thursday,
August 5:

Joe
Public (TRI) vs. Brujas (CRC) – 6:00 p.m. MT

Xelaju
(GUA) vs. FAS (SLV) – 8:00 p.m. MT

 

GROUP
STAGE – August 17-19 (first of six dates; sites/times TBD)
Group
A
Real Salt Lake (USA)

Arabe Unido (PAN)
San Francisco (PAN) / Cruz Azul (MEX) winner
Toronto FC (CAN) / Motagua (HON) winner


Group B
Columbus Crew (USA)
Municipal (GUA)
San Juan Jabloteh (TRI) / Santos (MEX) winner
Brujas (CRC) / Joe Public (TRI) winner


Group C
Monterrey (MEX)
Saprissa (CRC)
Seattle Sounders FC (USA) / Metapan (SLV) winner
Tauro (PAN) / Marathon (HON) winner

 

Group
D
Toluca
(MEX)
Olimpia (HON)
Los Angeles Galaxy (USA) / Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR) winner
CD FAS (SLV) / Xelaju (GUA) winner

 

QUALIFIERS
North America (9)
United States (4):
Real Salt Lake, Columbus Crew, Los Angeles Galaxy,
Seattle Sounders
Mexico (4): Monterrey, Toluca, Cruz Azul, Santos
Canada (1): Toronto FC

Caribbean
(3)
CFU Club Champions Cup (3):
Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR), Joe Public
(TRI), San Juan Jabloteh (TRI)

Central
America (12)
Costa Rica (2):
Saprissa,
Brujas
El Salvador (2): CD FAS, Metapan
Guatemala (2): Municipal, Xelaju
Honduras (2): Olimpia, Marathon, Motagua@
Panama (2): Arabe Unido, Tauro, San Francisco#

 

*
Teams in italics qualified automatically for Group Stage
@ Berth reallocated from Belize
# Berth reallocated from Nicaragua