Preview: RSL v. Carolina RailHawks
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will continue its 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup campaign on Wednesday, when it will take on the NASL leading Carolina RailHawks in the tournament Quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The winner of Wednesday’s game will host the winner of the Quarters match between FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers in the Open Cup Semifinals on Aug. 7.
Tickets for the June 26 U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal Match are on sale at the Rio Tinto Stadium box offices, at www.RealSaltLake.com or over the phone at 801-727-2700. While the Carolina #USOC100 match is NOT included in the Real Salt Lake 2013 season ticket package, RSL “PRIDE” Season Ticket Holders can secure their seat location (IF available), and can also purchase additional seats to the match for a preferred price. Visit www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets for more detailed pricing for tickets to the match.
RSL beat the 2012 USL Pro champions Charleston Battery 5-2 after extra time in the Open Cup fourth-round at Rio Tinto Stadium on June 12 to advance to Wednesday’s Quarters against Carolina. Charleston jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead against the Claret-and-Cobalt, but the Utah side controlled the remainder of regular time, equalizing in the 79th minute when FW Joao Plata converted a penalty kick. RSL responded well in the first period of overtime, scoring three goals to win 5-2 and move into Wednesday’s Quarterfinals.
The Claret-and-Cobalt enters Wednesday’s match unbeaten in its last seven games across all competitions. The Utah side won its last match, getting a pair of first half goals from Captain Kyle Beckerman and FW Robbie Findley to defeat Seattle Sounders FC 2-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium last Saturday. The victory launched RSL into a tie for first in the Supporters’ Shield race with the Portland Timbers with 30 points on the year and a record of 9-5-3.
The RailHawks beat Chivas USA 3-1 at home on June 12 to advance to Wednesday’s Quarters. The RailHawks knocked off an even more impressive foe in the third-round on May 29, downing the LA Galaxy 2-0 at home. Carolina is making its deepest U.S. Open Cup run since its inaugural season in 2007, when the club reached the Semifinals. Since then, the squad has gone to the second-round twice in 2009 and 2010, the third-round once in 2008 and the fourth-round once in 2012. In last year’s campaign, RailHawks FW Brian Shriver led the competition in goals with five in just three matches.
Real Salt Lake MF Enzo Martinez went on a short-term loan to Carolina earlier this year, appearing in three games off the bench and playing 74 minutes for the RailHawks. The 22-year-old scored in his Carolina debut, ripping a 25-yard shot home to equalize in Carolina’s draw at Minnesota United FC on May 4.
The winner of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will be granted a berth in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League. Real Salt Lake competed in the 2010-11 and the 2012-13 editions of the CCL, becoming the first – and still only – MLS club to reach the final in 2011. Participation in MLS Cup 2013 and claiming the MLS Supporters’ Shield as the regular season points leader would provide alternate routes for qualification into the 2014-15 CCL.
Now in its 100th year of competition, the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup is an annual, single-elimination competition open to all amateur and professional soccer teams affiliated with U.S. Soccer. The tournament’s Quarterfinals will be held on June 26, the Semifinals on Aug. 7 or 21 and the Final on Oct. 1 or 2.
Along with a berth into the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League, the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup winner will receive a $250,000 cash prize from U.S. Soccer. The runner-up will collect $60,000 and the team that advances the furthest from each lower division league will win $15,000.
RSL moves on from Open Cup play and returns to MLS action this Saturday, June 29, when it will travel north of the border to face Toronto FC at BMO Field. The Claret-and-Cobalt will return to Rio Tinto Stadium next Wednesday, July 3, when it will take on the Philadelphia Union at 8:00 p.m. RSL will put on a fireworks display at Rio Tinto Stadium following the Philadelphia match as part of the club’s Independence Day celebration.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. Carolina RailHawks
- Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
- English Radio: ESPN700 AM (Pregame begins at 7:00 p.m. MT)
- Spanish Radio: La Gran D 102.3 FM & Juan 1600 AM
- Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide live match updates
RSL Open Cup History
Real Salt Lake is 7-8-0 all-time in Open Cup action, scoring 29 goals and conceding 31 in its 15 games in the tournament. The Claret-and-Cobalt is 3-2-0 against lower division teams in the Open Cup after the June 12 win against Charleston.
RSL’s best Open Cup finishes came in 2006 and 2011, advancing to Quarterfinals in both years before being bounced by MLS Western Conference rivals the Colorado Rapids 2-0 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2006 and losing to FC Dallas 2-0 at Pizza Hut Park in 2011.