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Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium
You may not think of Salt Lake City as a soccer hot spot, but you should. Since coming into the league last decade, Real Salt Lake has cultivated a passionate fan base at Rio Tinto Stadium. Opened in 2008 and nicknamed "The RioT" for its raucous atmosphere, the stadium fits a tidy 20,000 people that sound like twice that number.
Real Salt Lake History
Real Salt Lake is one of the great MLS success stories of the millennium. The team came into existence for the 2005 season, but has accomplished much in its short time in the league.
They were runners-up in the 2013 MLS Cup, 2010 Supporters Shield, and the 2013 U.S. Open Cup, as well as the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2011, in which they gave the best performance by an American team. No previous American squad had made the finals of the continental tournament.
Their biggest accomplishment, however, was winning the 2009 MLS Cup in only their fifth year in existence. At Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington, RSL took the LA Galaxy to the limit, defeating them in penalties 5-4 after a 1-1 draw. Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando was named the man of the match after he saved key penalties in the shootout, allowing his team to claim the MLS Cup for the first time.
Since that victory, Real Salt Lake has been a mainstay in the MLS Cup playoffs, including a conference semifinals appearance in 2018 and 2019. Under head coach Freddy Juarez, the Claret and Cobalt look to remain a dominant force in the MLS Western Conference for years to come.