Details emerge about Real Salt Lake vs Inter Milan friendly

I don’t often post press releases, but this one is an exception as it is the first second (thanks Trey for the correction) “friendly” match since 2009 vs Chivas (the real Chivas) a match that I believe was a cornerstone moment for RSL:

REAL SALT LAKE & RIO TINTO STADIUM
TO HOST LEGENDARY ITALIAN CLUB INTER MILAN
ON TUESDAY, JULY 19 AT 8:00 P.M. MT
Presented by the Utah Sports Commission, RSL v. Inter Milan
Highlights Summer Schedule in Sandy, Along with June 24 Liga MX Exhibition;
First-Ever European Side to Face RSL at Rio Tinto Stadium

SANDY, Utah (Wednesday, June 8, 2016)  – Rio Tinto Stadium will host iconic and legendary Italian club Inter Milan on Tuesday, July 19, presented by the Utah Sports Commission, as Real Salt Lake faces a European side in the world-class Utah venue for the first time. Kickoff is at 8:00 p.m. MT, with RSL Season Ticket Members able to secure their seats until Friday, June 17, with the entire Stadium going on sale at that time to the general public via the stadium box office, RSL.com, RioTintoStadium.com or by calling 844.Real.Tix.

“The arrival of such a storied club as Inter Milan coming here to face Real Salt Lake is a testament to the vision our owner, Dell Loy Hansen, is developing for the sport in our community”, said Andy Carroll, Chief Business Officer for RSL.  “As the Herriman Complex evolves, we expect the Salt Lake Valley to serve as the home base for numerous world powers during their Summer tours of North America; Inter Milan’s visit to Sandy this July is the first step in that process.”

Officially known as FC Internazionale Milano, and colloquially outside Italy as simply “Inter Milan” the Milan-based club is recognized worldwide for its iconic black and blue jersey, hence the nickname the Nerazzurri. Inter Milan has competed in Italy’s top flight league, Serie A, for over a century and has never been relegated in its 108 years of history.

 

“It is exciting to have one of the world’s premier soccer teams compete at Rio Tinto Stadium”, said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.  “Hosting Inter Milan will provide economic benefit and international exposure to Utah, The State of Sport.”

Inter Milan have won 30 domestic trophies, including 18 league titles, seven Coppa Italias and five Italian Supercoppas. From 2006 to 2010, the club won five consecutive Serie A titles, matching the all-time record.

On the European continent, the Nerazzurri have won the UEFA Champions League three times: two back-to-back in 1964 and 1965 and the third in 2010. That incredible 2010 campaign saw Inter hoist five trophies in a single year, winning the Coppa Italia, the Scudetto and the UEFA Champions League for the famous ‘Triplete’. That same calendar year they won the FIFA Club World Cup and the Italian Supercoppa.

The club also boasts three UEFA Cup titles (1990-91, 1993-94 and 1997-98) as well as a pair of Intercontinental Cups (1964 and 1965). More information on the club can be found on its official English-language website at www.Inter.it/EN/hp.

The current Inter Milan side have advanced to Europe, finishing fourth in Serie A with 67 points (20-11-7), and are led by manager Roberto Mancini, now in his second stint with the club, having won a total of 25 trophies, 13 as a player and 12 as a manager. Mancini, formerly of Manchester City (England) and Galatasaray (Turkey), as well as Lazio and Sampdoria (Italy), has reached at least the semi-final stage of a major national cup competition in every season he has been a manager, from 2002 to 2013.

Currently on the books prior to the summer transfer window for Inter Milan are players from 17 different nations, including several South American stars who will appear in the Copa America Centenario on U.S. soil this June.

The Nerazzurri captain is Argentine star Mauro Icardi (16 goals in Serie A in 2015/16) with international teammate and former Boca Juniors icon Rodrigo Palacio also calling Milan home. MF Felipe Melo (Brazil), MF Gary Medel (Chile), Edér (Italy) and Jeison Murillo(Colombia) comprise the core of Mancini’s squad.

Real Salt Lake famously hosted a European side back in August, 2006, when world power Real Madrid visited the Beehive State, RSL falling 0-2 at Rice-Eccles Stadium on the University of Utah campus on August 12, 2006, not coincidentally the date of Rio Tinto Stadium’s groundbreaking. The following Summer, RSL downed Everton (ENG), 2-0, with the Liverpool-based side returning to Utah for the 2009 MLS All-Star Game in Sandy, the Toffees winning via penalty kick shootout, 4-3, to decide a 1-1 draw at the conclusion of 90 minutes.

RSL’s history against international clubs at Rio Tinto Stadium is dominated by CONCACAF Champions League play with 22 of 23 all-time games of this type part of CCL competition; however, numerous friendlies have existed against Mexican, Argentine, Jamaican, Chilean and English teams, mostly at Rice-Eccles Stadium during the 12-year old club’s early years.

With the March 2, 2016 draw (1-1) against UANL Tigres (MEX) in CONCACAF Champions League play, RSL’s all-time record is now 18-9-10 all-time in international contests, with a +15 goal differential (54 goals for / 39 goals against) … In meaningful int’l competition, RSL is now 11-5-6 (34 GF / 22 GA).

In the Rio Tinto Stadium era, RSL is 13-6-8 vs. visiting international squads (does NOT include league matches against visiting Canadian teams, against whom RSL is now 13-2-3 (33/14 goal +/-); however, the record DOES include CCL series v. Columbus and Toronto). The rundown, with friendlies against international teams in RED and CCL games in blue (European teams in BOLD):

Date Opponent Score/Result
June 8, 2005 Universidad Catolica (CHL) 3-2 W @ Rice-Eccles Stadium
August 24, 2005 Harbour View F.C. (JAM) 1-1 T
July 19, 2006 Monarcas Morelia (MEX) 1-3 L
August 12, 2006 Real Madrid (SPN) 0-2 L
April 18, 2007 Fiji National Team 3-0 W
June 7, 2007 Chinese National Team 1-0 W
July 21, 2007 Everton (ENG) 2-0 W
July 24, 2007 Boca Juniors (ARG) 1-1 T
July 9, 2008 Santos Laguna (MEX) 1-4 L
July 23, 2008 Dep. Saprissa (CRC) 1-2 L
Sept. 3, 2008 UANL Tigres (MEX) 1-0 W
July 11, 2009 C.F. América (MEX) 1-0 W @ Rio Tinto Stadium
July 29, 2009 Everton (ENG) v MLS All-Stars 1-1 T (EVE wins 4-3 in shootout)
Oct. 7, 2009 CD Guadalajara (MEX) 1-1 T
June 19, 2010 Puntarenas F.C. (CRC) 2-0 W
August 18, 2010 Árabe Unido (PAN) 2-1 W
August 25, 2010 @ Cruz Azul (MEX) 4-5 L
Sept. 15, 2010 Toronto FC (CAN) 4-1 W
Sept. 22, 2010 @ Árabe Unido (PAN) 3-2 W
Sept. 28, 2010 @ Toronto FC (CAN) 1-1 T
Oct. 19, 2010 Cruz Azul (MEX) 3-1 W
Feb. 22, 2011 @ Columbus (USA) 0-0 T
March 1, 2011 Columbus Crew (USA) 4-1 W
March 15, 2011 Dep. Saprissa (CRC) 2-0 W
April 5, 2011 @ Dep. Saprissa (CRC) 1-2 L*
April 20, 2011 @ Monterrey (MEX) 2-2 T
April 27, 2011 Monterrey (MEX) 0-1 L
July 31, 2012 @ Herediano (CRC) 0-1 L
August 21, 2012 Tauro FC (PAN) 2-0 W
Sept. 18, 2012 @ Tauro FC (PAN) 1-0 W
Oct. 23, 2012 Herediano (CRC) 0-0 T
August 12, 2014 Xolos de Tijuana (MEX) 1-1 T
August 4, 2015 @ Municipal (GUA) 1-0 W
Sept. 15, 2015 @ Santa Tecla (SLV) 0-0 T
Sept. 24, 2015 Santa Tecla (SLV) 2-1 W
Oct. 20, 2015 Municipal (GUA) 1-0 W
Feb. 24, 2016 @ UANL Tigres (MEX) 0-2 L
March 2, 2016 UANL Tigres (MEX) 1-1 T
July 19, 2016 FC Internazionale Milano (ITA) 8:00 p.m. MT

Prior to the Inter Milan visit on Tuesday, July 19, Rio Tinto Stadium will host an international friendly on Friday, June 24, between Liga MX powers Xolos de Tijuana and Santos Laguna. Tickets for this highly-anticipated matchup are currently on sale atwww.RioTintoStadium.com/events/liga-mx-tijuana-vs-santos-laguna/, or by calling the stadium box office at 844.Real.Tix.

Xolos will appear at Rio Tinto Stadium for the second time in three seasons, as the Tijuana-based club visited Utah back in August, 2014, drawing with Real Salt Lake, 1-1, in an MLS v Liga MX friendly. Led by “Piojo” – Herrera’s nickname from his days as an Atlante and Mexican National Team player – the master motivator and media personality recently served as the TD for Mexico’s 2014 FIFA World Cup entry, advancing El Tri to the Round of 16. In 2015, he led El Tri to the Gold Cup title. Last November, Herrera was named manager for Xolos, which hosted RSL for a preseason scrimmage on Feb. 2, defeating the Claret-and-Cobalt, 1-0.

Founded in 2007, Xolos won its first Liga MX title in the Apertura 2012, winning the “Liguilla” (playoffs) to achieve the distinction as the title-winner to have most quickly captured hardware after promotion to the top flight in Mexican history. Xolos currently have six U.S. players on their books, including internationals Greg Garza, Michael Orozco and former LA Galaxy youth Paul Arriola, as well as U.S. U-17 standout Alejandro Guido.

Information on Xolos can be found at http://xolos.com.mx/en (English), while Santos Laguna’s online home is at http://www.clubsantos.mx/noticias/tag/english.

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