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RSL Return Home Saturday for National-Televised Matinee

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HERRIMAN, Utah (Friday, April 29, 2022)Real Salt Lake (3-2-4, 13 pts, 6th West) returns home this weekend, welcoming long-time rival LA Galaxy (5-2-1, 16 pts, 3rd West) Saturday afternoon. All-time, RSL is 9-5-8 (W-L-T) in MLS regular-season play on Utah soil against the Galaxy, with a 2-0-1 MLS Cup Playoff / U.S. Open Cup mark at home against the original MLS side. In 2009, RSL famously outlasted a star-laden Galaxy side at the MLS Cup final in Seattle, winning a shootout tiebreaker to bring the State of Utah its first major-league professional sports championship since the early 1970s.

Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni’s side has not won since March 19, a 2-1 home victory over Nashville, a span of five games in League play and six overall, as the Claret-and-Cobalt were bounced unceremoniously from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on April 20 at home. Last weekend’s 0-0 draw at Portland closed out an injury-filled season-opening stanza that saw RSL play six of its first nine games on the road, while Saturday’s home match against the Galaxy now opens a stretch that sees Rio Tinto Stadium host five of the next eight and eight of the next 12 at home. Mastroeni has used 24 players already through nine games this season, with the primary MLS transfer window closing middle of next week.

Saturday’s match will be broadcast locally via KMYU (12 over the air, 22 satellite and 643 HD on cable), with streaming on the KSL Sports App, as well as ESPN700 AM radio. Spanish-speaking fans can tune in on KBMG Latino 106.3 FM, La Gran D 102.3 FM and KTUB 1600 AM for the local radio broadcast.

Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, UT

Saturday, April 30 at 1:30 p.m. MT

Game Notes for Saturday’s RSL v. LA Galaxy Match Available Online

The Adobe PDF version of the 2022 MLS Game Guide in advance of Saturday’s contest between Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy can be found here. Media members looking to receive the document as an attachment or have further questions are asked to please contact Meg Van Dyk in RSL Communications via email at meg.vandyk@rsl.com

2022 Records: Real Salt Lake (3-2-4, 13 pts, 6th West); LA Galaxy (5-2-1, 16 pts, 3rd West)

FOUR CONSECUTIVE SEASON-OPENING SELLOUTS FOR FIRST TIME EVER

RSL is tracking for an unprecedented fourth consecutive sellout Saturday afternoon against LA Galaxy, which would be first in the Club’s 18-year history to start the season. Back on March 19 at Rio Tinto Stadium, 20,036 fans attended to give the Utah side its first back-to-back 20k crowds since late Summer 2016, and its first March with 40,000+ tickets sold since the 2013 and 2015 seasons. With RSL selling out the RioT April 9 against Toronto for 20,136 fans, it marked the first three-game sellout streak to open a season since 2015, and only the second ever.

In that fateful non-Playoff 2015 season, RSL sold out 11 of the Club’s 17 home reg. season contests, including seven straight from late June through mid-September. Wednesday’s Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup contest saw 19,301 tickets distributed, while April 30 at home vs. LA Galaxy and Chicharito is already approaching Standing Room Only status.

Currently, RSL owns an MLS-best regular season home record of 126-36-56, 434 points since 2009 (includes one “road” match against RioT tenant Vancouver in 2021).

In Sandy, Utah, RSL has enjoyed a prominent home-field advantage – posting a dominant 148-44-47 (Win-Loss-Draw) record across all competitions at home (2.07 points per game for a 0.722 win pct.) – since opening its permanent Rio Tinto Stadium venue in Sandy on Oct. 8, 2008, more than 13 years ago.

In 2021, RSL earned a 9-4-4 home record and set a new Club mark for most consecutive home wins, earning seven straight victories. Rio Tinto Stadium will host seven home matches in 10 weeks between May 8 – July 23, including the Rocky Mountain Cup vs. Colorado on July 9 and hosting rival Sporting Kansas City on July 17 as the club looks to build upon its league-best regular season home mark and retain the Rocky Mountain Cup for the 13th time in 18 seasons.

RSL owns an all-time MLS regular-season and playoff mark of just 15-39-19 (W-L-T) on artificial surfaces across the league since its 2005 inaugural campaign. Last Saturday, April 23 at Portland, with a 0-0 draw, RSL snapped an overall five-game winless streak at Providence Park. In those 73 all-time games on the fake stuff, the Utah side has been outscored 127-74. RSL is now 5-4-3 all-time at Foxborough against the Revolution, the March 12 win at Gillette Stadium snapping a three-game winless streak. In both 2015 and 2017, RSL lost 0-4 in turf drubbings, prior to a 0-0 draw in its last visit to Gillette, in 2019. From 2010-13, RSL did win three consecutive road matches against the Revs by an aggregate score of 6-2.

RSL’s trip to Gillette Stadium March 12 marked the second away match in the Club’s first three games this season, which sees RSL travel for six of its first 9 matches overall. Following a Rio Tinto Stadium win against Nashville on March 19, RSL has now gone winless in four with just two points accrued in three road matches at Kansas City, Colorado and New York City FC sandwiched around the 2-2 home draw with Toronto April 9.

Despite historic anemia away from home, RSL has earned results in six of its last nine overall road contests dating back to 2021. Late regular-season wins in Dallas and Kansas City overcame home stumbles to San Jose/Portland and made the postseason possible, while RSL deserved to advance in the MLS Cup Playoffs with its unforgettable performances at Seattle and Kansas City before falling at Portland in the West Final.

Can RSL regain its 2.00 points-per-game road average established this early part of the year with a response to its worst road performances of the year at NYCFC?

RSL finally gets a stretch of eight home games in 12 contests from April 30 to July 9.





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2022 MLS season: Fire standing behind struggling goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina

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Gabriel Slonina has made his decision. He’s going with the United States men’s national team.

Slonina, 18, announced Friday on social media he is committing to the US over Poland. A dual national, Slonina was recently named to Poland’s roster for its upcoming UEFA Nations League matches but has chosen to cast his lot with the United States program. Poland clearly wanted Slonina badly, as shown by coach Czesław Michniewicz traveling to Chicago to meet with him and present him a jersey.

Those overtures were rejected, and Slonina explained why. Though he discussed his pride in his heritage and what it means to be Polish, Slonina said “my heart is American.”

“This country has given me and my family all the opportunities I could ask for,” Slonina posted. “It’s pushed me and supported me through good and bad. I understand the privilege of wearing the badge, and the only time I’ll put my head down is to kiss it. America is home and that’s who I’m going to represent.”

Because of his age, FIFA rules allow Slonina to play in three matches for a national team before being bound to a country, so it’s possible he could change his mind in the future.

Slonina is part of a crowded US goalkeeping picture that includes Manchester City’s Zack Steffen, the Revolution’s Matt Turner (who will join English club Arsenal this summer) and former Fire standout Sean Johnson, currently the captain of reigning MLS Cup champion New York City FC. Poland is also strong in net, led by Wojciech Szczęsny, the starter for Italian powerhouse Juventus.

But just because Slonina, who’s represented the US at youth levels, has made this decsion doesn’t mean all his major choices are complete. Slonina’s been linked with major European clubs, and with their transfer windows opening soon, the young goalie might be forced to decide between famous teams in the near future.

Slonina’s recent play for the Fire has raised questions about whether those outside factors have taken a toll. Last Saturday, Slonina’s late giveaway led to the Fire’s 2-1 loss to FC Cincinnati. Then on Wednesday against the Red Bulls, Slonina whiffed on an easy save for New York’s second goal, overcommitted on their stoppage-time equalizer and could’ve easily given away a penalty after contacting an opposing attacker in the Fire box.

After the Red Bulls match, coach Ezra Hendrickson was asked whether the external noise was affecting Slonina’s concentration.

“Maybe outside of the game but in the game I don’t think he’s thinking about all that stuff. He just happened to make some mistakes,” Hendrickson said. “You know, we all make mistakes as soccer players and it just happened to be that in that position of his, your mistakes are more dangerous, are more costly than someone missing a goal or something like that. But he’ll get out of it and we’ll make sure that he stays positive and stays confident.”

Perhaps that will be easier for Slonina with one major decision out of the way.





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Monarchs Spotlight: Tyrone Mondi – rsl.com

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Monarchs Spotlight: Tyrone Mondi  rsl.com



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Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin on being first place in MLS – FOX Soccer

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Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin on being first place in MLS  FOX Soccer



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