Real Salt Lake Venues To Host First-Ever MLS NEXT Pro Invitational, Featuring Pair Of English Premier League 2 Sides

HERRIMAN, Utah (Friday, July 8, 2022) – Host venues for Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake and the Club’s MLS NEXT Pro side Real Monarchs welcome a pair of English Premier League visitors to Utah later this month, as the first-ever MLS NEXT Pro International Cup calls both Zions Bank Stadium and Rio Tinto Stadium home July 19-27, 2022.

“The Summer of Soccer in Utah continues with this unique, unprecedented event,” said Real Salt Lake President John Kimball. “First it was our Liga MX exhibition last month, then we hosted the U.S.A. Women’s National Team last week. Now our expert staff have the opportunity to show off our exquisite facilities to entities and individuals from the U.S., Canada and England for the first-ever MLS NEXT PRO Invitational, and we could not be prouder to provide this opportunity for our fans, as well as the participant Leagues and Clubs.”

A quintet of games featuring Chelsea FC’s U-21 side and Wolves U-21s joins host Real Monarchs as well MLS NEXT Pro sides Colorado Rapids 2 and Toronto FC 2. The complete game schedule follows:

Tues., July 19Real Monarchs v Chelsea U-21s – 7:30p MT – Rio Tinto Stadium

Thu., July 21: Chelsea U-21s v Wolves U-21s – 8:15p MT – Zions Bank Stadium

Sat., July 23Real Monarchs v Wolves U-21s – 6:30p MT – Zions Bank Stadium

Sat., July 23: Toronto FC 2 v Chelsea U-21s – 8:45p MT – Zions Bank Stadium

Wed., July 27: Colorado Rapids 2 v Wolves U-21s – 8:00p MT – Zions Bank Stadium

Points will be earned according to results as in MLS NEXT Pro regular season matches and the league with the most total points accumulated in head-to-head competition will be crowned Invitational Champion.

“International competition is a priority for our league. There are a lot of benefits, both on and off the field, that we are excited about,” said Ali Curtis, SVP of Competition & Operations, MLS NEXT Pro. “This year is the start to a competition that we hope to grow in the years ahead. We look forward to welcoming both Chelsea and Wolves to the U.S. and appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with Premier League 2.”

Fans in the U.S. and abroad will be able to watch the four MLS NEXT Pro vs. PL2 matches exclusively on mlsnextpro.com. For fans interested in attending the matches, tickets are currently available for purchase online through RSL.com/tickets.

Real Monarchs 2022 Season Ticket Members receive these games free of charge; tickets have already been loaded to your AXS accounts. Real Salt Lake 2022 Season Ticket Members can opt-in to receive tickets to any or all of these games for a minimal charge; please visit https://fanaccount.axs.com/login to commence the process. Pre-sale starts TODAY, Friday, July 8 at 10 am and ends Monday, July 11.

Current RSL Season Ticket Member seats are reserved in your Fan Account through Monday night. To purchase your seats at the special season price, log in to your Fan Account. You will see your seat reservations at the top of the screen. Simply click “Get Tickets” to complete the payment process. The tickets will be loaded to your AXS Mobile app after the payment has been made.

Beginning on Tuesday, all season members will be able to purchase additional tickets at the same special rate. Reserve seats early for best selection.

The remainder of the Real Monarchs regular season schedule can be found at www.MLSNEXTPro.com as well as any other information regarding Head Coach Jamison Olave’s team.

About MLS NEXT Pro

Launched in March 2022 by Major League Soccer, MLS NEXT Pro is a professional men’s soccer league in the United States and Canada that completes the player pathway from MLS NEXT through to MLS first teams. With 21 Clubs competing during the inaugural season – 20 MLS-affiliated and one independent club, Rochester New York FC – MLS NEXT Pro will grow the game through innovation and diversity by bringing professional soccer to new markets, creating career opportunities for professionals on and off the field, and providing communities with a strong sense of pride. Additional MLS-affiliated and independent clubs will join MLS NEXT Pro in the years ahead. Beginning in 2023, MLS NEXT Pro matches will be carried live on the Apple TV app as part of the monumental partnership between Apple and Major League Soccer. Through that partnership, from early 2023 through 2032, fans can get every live MLS match by subscribing to a new MLS streaming service, available exclusively through the Apple TV app. For more information about MLS NEXT Pro, visit www.mlsnextpro.com.

About Premier League 2

Premier League 2 (PL2) is an Under-21 competition which has a focus on technicality, physicality and intensity to bring club academy players as close as possible to a first-team experience.

PL2 is part of a suite of competitions that aims to best prepare players to make the transition from academy to senior football. This includes a variety of domestic cup competitions, matches involving senior opposition (such as through the EFL Trophy) and competitions against international peers.

The league is formed of two tiers, Division 1 and Division 2, with 14 teams in each, and the factor of promotion and relegation. For more information on PL2, visit www.premierleague.com.

ABOUT REAL SALT LAKE

During the first week of January, 2022, the RSL compendium of properties was acquired by global sports entrepreneur David Blitzer – who boasts interests in the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the New Jersey Devils (NHL), and six European soccer entities, including Crystal Palace (England), FC Augsburg (Germany), Estoril (Portugal), ADO Den Haag (Netherlands), Alcorcón (Spain) and Waasland-Beveren (Belgium). The Blitzer group partners with Utah-based Smith Entertainment Group, led by Ryan Smith, which owns the Utah Jazz (NBA).

Real Salt Lake kicked off its 18th Major League Soccer season this Spring, its first full season under Head Coach Pablo Mastroeni, who led the Utah side for the final 100 days last year, advancing to the 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the 11th time in the last 14 years.

The club’s MLS Cup 2009 victory marked the state of Utah’s only major professional championship in nearly 40 years, the title preceding an historic run to the 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League Final. Buoyed by a passionate base boasting several thousand season ticket holders, RSL has enjoyed a prominent home-field advantage – posting a dominant 151-43-48 (Win-Loss-Draw) record across all competitions at home (2.07 points per game for a 0.727 win pct.) – since building its permanent Rio Tinto Stadium home in Sandy 13 years ago.

In 2015, the club expanded its development pyramid with the addition of Real Monarchs SLC, one of several MLS-operated clubs playing in the USL Championship, the United States’ Division II setup. The Monarchs boast a pair of titles in its brief history, as the 2017 USL regular-season champions, later winning the USL Final in 2019. For the 2022 season and beyond, Real Monarchs will compete in the newly launched “MLS NEXT Pro” as part of a joint United States and Canada endeavor to complete the professional player pathway by connecting youth academies in MLS NEXT to first teams in Major League Soccer.

The entire RSL development pipeline, which includes the RSL Academy’s U-15 and U-17 teams, calls the expansive Zions Bank Training Center in Herriman, Utah their daily training home. With five world-class grass fields, two indoor turf fields, a residential dormitory, the STEM-based RSL Academy High School and the 5,000-seat Zions Bank Stadium located on a 42-acre campus, Utah’s sporting future is bright.

The RSL Community Foundation was established in 2016, created with the goals of being active in the community year-round, utilizing the popularity and reach of RSL and the Monarchs in promoting health and wellness in children throughout the region, engaging supporters of soccer to raise funds and volunteer time for various local initiatives.

2022 RSL Full- and Half-Season Ticket Packages are now on sale at www.RSL.com or by calling 844.Real.Tix.