Preview: RSL at Tauro FC
SANDY, Utah (Monday, Sept. 17, 2012) – Real Salt Lake returns to CONCACAF Champions League play on Tuesday, Sept. 18, when it takes on Panamanian champions Tauro FC at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City in a must-win Group 2 match for both sides. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN700 AM starting at 6:00 p.m. MT.
RSL currently sits in second place in CCL Group 2 with a 1-1-0 record, three points behind Group 2 leaders C.S. Herediano (2-0-0) and three points ahead of last place Tauro (0-2-0). Only the winner of the four-game Group Stage will advance to the tournament’s eight-team QuarterFinal Round, kicking off in March.
Tomorrow’s game is a must-win for RSL in order to control the team's destiny, the Utah side needing all three points to set up what could be a decisive final Group Stage match against first-place Herediano at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 23. A loss or a tie would be disastrous for the Claret-and-Cobalt, as it would give Herediano – which won 1-0 at Tauro on Aug. 30 – an opportunity to clinch Group 2 and eliminate RSL from contention for the Knockout Stage in its home match against Tauro on Sept. 25.
Real Salt Lake lost its first match of the 2012/13 tourney, falling 1-0 at Costa Rican champs C.S. Herediano on July 31. The team bounced back with a critical win in its second Group 2 game, riding goals from FW Álvaro Saborío and captain Kyle Beckerman to beat Tauro 2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Aug. 18. Unfortunately for RSL, Beckerman was shown a straight red card shortly after his goal in the Aug. 18 win over Tauro, forcing him out of Tuesday’s match due to suspension. His absence will be partially mitigated by the likely return to the lineup of DF’s Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave, both of whom missed RSL’s last CCL match due to suspension and injury suffered in the July 31 opener at Herediano.
Tuesday’s game will be RSL’s second in Panama and second at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in the club's CCL history. The Claret-and-Cobalt was successful on their first trip to the Central American nation, beating Arabe Unido 3-2 in the 2010-2011 CCL Group Stage on Sept. 22, 2010. Last season’s Panamanian champions followed up its 0-2 loss at RSL on Aug. 18 with an 0-1 home loss to Herediano on Aug. 25. Tauro FC currently sits in second place in the Panamanian first division but has struggled lately, posting just a 1-2-2 mark in its last five matches across all competitions.
Real Salt Lake has a quick turnaround following Tuesday’s match, getting back into MLS play with an important home date against the Portland Timbers on Saturday, Sept. 22. Kickoff for that game – the only home regular-season match which will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network – is scheduled for a rare 6:00 p.m. MT kickoff before an expected capacity crowd of 20,000+. RSL has sold out its last three consecutive home matches, and six of its last nine dating back to June 20.
The Claret-and-Cobalt will return to the CCL on Oct. 23, when they’ll host Herediano at Rio Tinto Stadium in what could be a decisive Group 2 finale.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake vs. Tauro FC
- Kickoff: 6:00 p.m. MT at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama
- TV: Fox Soccer Channel
- English Radio: ESPN700/ESPN700Sports.com (pre-game coverage begins at 5:00 p.m. MT)
- Spanish Radio: La Gran D 102.3 FM & Juan 1600 AM with Nelson Moran & Fernando Hortal
- Online: Live updates on the @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed
Game Guide for Tuesday’s RSL-Tauro FC Match Now Available Online
Following is the link to the Adobe PDF version of the Game Guide (media notes) in advance of Tuesday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and Tauro FC. If you have any problems obtaining the document, would prefer to receive it as an attachment, or are seeking more information on the match, please contact Media Services Manager Sam Stejskal in the RSL Communications Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.