Preview: RSL v. DC United
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake will look for its first trophy of 2013 on Tuesday, when it will host the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final against D.C. United at 7:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Tuesday’s match is RSL’s first-ever appearance in the Open Cup Final and just the third home final in club history. In addition to the prestige that comes with winning the 100th edition of the nation’s oldest soccer tournament, the 2013 Open Cup Champion will receive one of just four American berths in the 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League and earn a $250,000 cash prize.
Tuesday’s Open Cup Final is not included in the Real Salt Lake 2013 season ticket package. A limited amount of seats to the critical match are still available and can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700. Tuesday’s game will be broadcast live on GolTV, ESPN 700 AM and 102.3 La Gran D FM/1600 AM.
RSL took care of business in four home Open Cup matches to advance to Tuesday’s final, beating lower-division side Atlanta Silverbacks 3-2 after extra time in the third round on May 28, toppling USL Pro squad Charleston Battery 5-2 after extra time in the fourth round on June 12, defeating the NASL Carolina RailHawks 3-0 in the quarterfinals on June 26 and besting Western Conference foe Portland Timbers 2-1 in the semis on Aug. 7.
The Claret-and-Cobalt emphasized the Open Cup from the jump this year, playing Captain Kyle Beckerman, MF Javier Morales, MF Ned Grabavoy and DF Chris Wingert in all four USOC games thus far. The run to the final is the farthest Real Salt Lake has ever advanced in the Open Cup, besting the club’s two runs to the tournament quarterfinals in 2006 and 2011.
Real Salt Lake rested its regular lineup on Saturday at Vancouver Whitecaps FC in advance of Tuesday’s Open Cup Final, with Claret-and-Cobalt Head Coach Jason Kreis leaving Beckerman, Morales, GK Nick Rimando, DF Nat Borchers, DF Tony Beltran and other heavily-used players in Salt Lake to better prepare them for Tuesday. Of course, that didn’t affect the Claret-and-Cobalt against the ‘Caps, with RSL getting an early goal from FW Devon Sandoval to down Vancouver 1-0 at BC Place.
D.C. United used a similar approach over the weekend, with Manager Ben Olsen running out a reserve-laden squad in his team’s 4-1 loss at Toronto FC on Saturday. After reaching the Eastern Conference Final last year, United has struggled mightily in 2013, posting a 3-21-6 record through 30 games. One of D.C.’s three wins came against Real Salt Lake, with United downing RSL 1-0 at RFK Stadium in the second game of the season on March 9.
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. 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.
RSL will have a quick turnaround following Tuesday’s final, returning to MLS action on Saturday, when it will host FC Dallas at 7:00 p.m. MT in a match rife with playoff implications at Rio Tinto Stadium. Tickets are available for Saturday’s match and can be purchased at the Rio Tinto Stadium box office, online at www.RealSaltLake.com/Tickets or over the phone at 801-727-2700.
How to Follow Real Salt Lake v. D.C. United
- Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. MT at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah
- TV: GolTV
- English Radio: ESPN700 AM
- Spanish Radio: La Gran D 102.3 FM & Juan 1600 AM
- Online: The @RealSaltLake Twitter Feed will provide live match updates
Game Guide for Tuesday’s RSL-DC Open Cup Final Now Available Online
RSL Open Cup History
Real Salt Lake is 8-8-0 all-time in Open Cup action, scoring 29 goals and conceding 30 in its 16 games in the tournament. The Claret-and-Cobalt has met D.C. in the Open Cup once previously, losing 2-1 at United in the play-in rounds in the 2010 Open Cup.
RSL’s previous best Open Cup finishes came in 2006 and 2011, when the team advanced to the Quarterfinals before being bounced by MLS Western Conference rivals the Colorado Rapids 2-0 at Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2006 and FC Dallas 2-0 at Pizza Hut Park in 2011.