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SALT LAKE CITY (Thursday, June 14, 2007) - Continuing its growing tradition of bringing a wide and varied selection of the world's best soccer clubs to Utah, Real Salt Lake today announced dates and times the MLS side will square off against a pair of international superpowers - English Premiership side Everton FC - featuring U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard - and South American powerhouse Boca Juniors - in a pair of international friendlies to be contested on Pioneer Day Weekend in late July.
"Last summer we delivered the world's most recognized team to Utah with Real Madrid," said RSL Owner David W. Checketts. "Now in 2007, we combine the heritage of Pioneer Day Weekend with the growing tradition of our own, as we are elated to host one of the world's elite in Everton and South America's biggest and brightest star, Boca Juniors."
Real Salt Lake will host Everton, which finished sixth in the EPL in 2007, at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, July 21, for a 7:00 p.m. MT kickoff, and will welcome Boca Juniors to Salt Lake City just three days later on Tuesday, July 24, in a match slated to start at 8:00 p.m. and be followed by Utah's biggest and brightest Pioneer Day Fireworks show. Broadcast information for both matches will be announced in the upcoming weeks, but fans will be able to listen to the action live on both of RSL's radio partners - KALL-AM 700 "The Zone" (English) and "La Bonita" KXTA-AM 1600 (Spanish).
Tickets for each contest range from $30-$80 and will be available for purchase for RSL season ticket holders and clients beginning Friday, June 15 at 10:00 a.m. MT, while ticket availability for the general public will begin on Wednesday, June 20 at 10:00 a.m. MT. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Real Salt Lake offices at 801-924-8585 or by visiting the club's official website, www.RealSaltLake.com. Fans that wish to take in both contests can purchase a special ticket package that includes seats for both exhibitions at a discounted price and a complimentary ticket to one of three RSL regular season contests (August 18 vs. Chicago, Sept. 22 vs. Colorado, or Oct. 6 vs. Chivas USA):
The Boca Juniors match will also mark the first of three premier Hispanic opponents as part of this season's "Sprint® Signing Session". Thanks to Sprint®, fans will have the opportunity all season long to visit any participating Sprint® location to enter-to-win two (2) VIP game tickets and two (2) passes to a private, post-game autograph session with world class Hispanic soccer players from each visiting team. In addition to Boca Juniors, fans will also have a chance to win tickets and autograph passes for the Chicago Fire game on August 18 (Cuauhtemoc Blanco scheduled to appear in autograph session) and Chivas USA on October 6, with select Hispanic players and coaches giving post-game autographs.
Already in 2007, Real Salt Lake has hosted a pair of national teams at Rice-Eccles, and Utah's MLS side came away with victories in both friendlies against Fiji (3-0) and China (1-0). The Everton FC and Boca Juniors exhibitions will mark the seventh and eighth contests for Real Salt Lake against international competition, with RSL posting a 3-2-1 record in six such contests across its first two-and-a-half seasons of play.
Real Salt Lake All-Time Results vs. International Opponents
Date Opponent Result
June 8, 2005 Universidad Catolica (Chile) 3-2 W
August 24, 2005 Harbour View FC (Jamaica) 1-1 T
July 19, 2006 Monarcas Morelia (Mexico) 1-3 L
August 12, 2006 Real Madrid (Spain) 0-2 L
April 18, 2007 Fijian National Team 3-0 W
June 7, 2007 Chinese National Team 1-0 W
July 21, 2007 Everton FC (England) 7:00 p.m. MT
July 24, 2007 Boca Juniors (Argentina) 8:00 p.m. MT
About Everton FC
Since its establishment in 1878, Everton FC has cemented its place as one of the most prestigious and storied clubs in European soccer. Since joining The Football League - England's original professional soccer league - as a founding member in 1888, Everton has found itself among the top clubs in international soccer. They currently reside in the elite Barclay's Premier League and frequently compete in top level European competitions, including the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup tournaments.
Since the inception of the Barclay's Premier League in 1992, Everton have found themselves consistently near the top of the table, highlighted by a fourth place finish during the 2004/05 season and a sixth place finish in the most recent 2006/07 campaign. The Blues also hold an impressive five titles in the prestigious FA Cup - the oldest soccer competition in the world - as well as seven runner-up finishes in the legendary tournament. Everton holds nine Division 1 Football League championships as well as a Division 2 Championship.
The club currently features a star-studded roster, led by manager David Moyes, who took over the managerial duties in 2002 and is widely regarded as one of the most promising young managers in European soccer. England striker Andy Johnson, who joined the club in the summer of 2006 for a club record £8.6m ($16.9 million), led The Blues' 2006/07 campaign with 11 goals despite missing the end of the season with an ankle injury. While most of the goal scoring duties fell to Johnson, fellow internationals Philip Neville (England) and Tim Cahill (Australia) anchor the midfield. Everton's stout defense is anchored by former MLS standout and current U.S. National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard, who left America's top-flight league for Manchester United in 2003 before joining Everton on loan last season, a move made permanent in February after an impressive start for The Blues.
About Boca Juniors
One of all of Latin America's most popular teams was founded on April 3, 1905, when five young boys who lived in La Boca neighborhood got together with the intention to create a football club. Little did those five know that those humble beginnings would turn into the foundation of the most prestigious and popular football club in Argentine history.
In the 102 years since, Boca Juniors has cemented itself as one of the powerhouse soccer clubs coming out of South America and the world. Boca holds the unofficial title of the world's most decorated team, boasting a record of 16 international titles (one more than Real Madrid, A.C. Milan and Independiente), including five Copa Libertadores, South America's premier club competition, and three FIFA World Club crowns (formerly known as the Intercontinental Cup). Boca Juniors has also won 22 Argentine Professional Championships and currently finds itself at the top of the First Division of Argentina and in the final of the 2007 edition of the Copa Libertadores.
Boca Juniors boasts a roster full of talent, headed by manager Miguel Angel Russo. The squad contains such stars as Ever Banega, Hugo Ibarra, Juan Riquelme, and Martin Palermo, the latter leading the team and the Argentine league with 11 goals in 2006. Throughout its more than century of history, some of the world's greatest players have worn the famed blue-and-gold shirt and ended up as absolute idols of the world's game, the most well-known example being Diego Maradona, who received the FIFA award for best footballer of the 20th century and is still seen at games cheering on his Boca Club.