SALT LAKE CITY - Real Salt Lake, Major League Soccer's 12th team, opens the home portion of its inaugural season by hosting Rocky Mountain rival Colorado Rapids at Rice-Eccles Stadium on April 16, 2005 at 2 p.m. MT live on ESPN2 before a nationally televised audience.
Real Salt Lake' Head Coach John Ellinger will direct newly signed American sensation Clint Mathis, the League's all-time leading scorer Jason Kreis, Jamaican National Team captain Andy Williams, goalkeeper D.J. Countess and the rest of the Real Salt Lake roster against the Rapids and recently appointed head coach Fernando Clavijo, a former U.S. National Team defender and Haitian National Team Head Coach.
"We are elated to announce a definitive, April 16 date for our home opener - this is the day that we have all been waiting for since July 14 when David W. Checketts brought Major League Soccer to Utah," said RSL General Manager Steve Pastorino. "Following our April 2 season kickoff at New York against the MetroStars and our April 9 trip to The Home Depot Center in Los Angeles to face the Galaxy, we look forward to rewarding the spirit and passion of Utah sports fans with the first of several phenomenal soccer events across the Wasatch Front in 2005 and beyond."
RSL invites media, fans and season-ticket holders to attend the organization's MLS SuperDraft Party this Friday, January 14 at the SkyBox Sports Grille & Arena at the Gateway. Real Salt Lake GM Pastorino and Head Coach John Ellinger will be in Baltimore, Maryland to select the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft. RSL also currently holds rights to overall picks #13 and #37, after dealing the overall #25 pick to Chicago on December 30 as part of the deal that brought forward Dipsy Selolwane and midfielder Evan Whitfield to Salt Lake.
Ellinger will preview Friday's SuperDraft and discuss the acquisition of Clint Mathis during a LIVE webchat Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. MT on www.RealSaltLake.com or www.MLSnet.com.
Major League Soccer's 2005 SuperDraft will be carried LIVE on Fox Sports World at 10 a.m. MT and is expected to last between 60-90 minutes. At the event, RSL fans will have the opportunity to witness the MLS SuperDraft including Real Salt Lake No. 1 pick and interact with Real Salt Lake management. MLS broadcast partner Fox Sports World will carry the first hour of the draft live, with MLS Wrap co-host Sean Wheelock leading coverage on-site in Baltimore along with longtime international and MLS television analyst Allen Hopkins.
On Saturday, Real Salt Lake will introduce the #1 pick locally at 11:30 a.m. MT. Real Salt Lake players and executives will be available at the grand opening of Zions Bank' newest "Su Banco" located at 1635 S. Redwood Road in West Valley City. At the event, fans will have the opportunity to meet the No.1 pick as well as RSL goalkeeper D.J. Countess. There will also be an opportunity to purchase Real Salt Lake merchandise and ticket packages for the 2005 RSL season, which kicks off Saturday, April 2 in New York against the MetroStars.