Press releaseSANDY -- Furthering its tradition of bringing world-class international competition to the State of Utah, Real Salt Lake announced today it will host enormously popular Mexican League side Chivas de Guadalajara on Wednesday, October 7 at the team's Rio Tinto Stadium home, with kickoff set for 7:00 p.m. MT. The game represents Real Salt Lake's 13th international exhibition game during its first five seasons, and the second at its spectacular new venue, Rio Tinto Stadium. Earlier this season, RSL defeated Chivas' archrival, Club América, 1-0 back on July 11 on a scintillating Javier Morales free kick.
"To welcome Chivas de Guadalajara to Rio Tinto Stadium this year, on the heels of Club América, Everton and the U.S. World Cup Qualifier, truly makes Utah the hub of the American soccer world in 2009," said Real Salt Lake President Bill Manning, referring to the July 29 MLS All-Star Game against Everton FC (England) and the U.S. Men's World Cup Qualifier on Sept. 5 vs. El Salvador. "Delivering this storied progression of world-class teams and events to our fans has significantly raised Utah's international sporting profile."
Chivas de Guadalajara, considered the most popular club of the Primera División Mexicana [the Mexican Soccer Federation (FMF) First Division], is followed profoundly by many fans worldwide and recognized at an international level by many. Chivas de Guadalajara's policy of fielding only Mexican-born players - a practice adhered to shortly after the club's inception in 1906 - nearly 104 years ago - breeds a fierce and almost fanatic pride amongst its fans, many of whom now call the United States home Chivas is also Mexico's most successful team on the field, having won a record 11 titles since the start of the FMF professional era.
"On October 7, I will be able to say that all three of my football teams have visited Real Salt Lake," said Chivas Owner Jorge Vergara, who also owns and operates Costa Rican power Saprissa - which visited RSL last year - and RSL's expansion brethren, Chivas USA (2005-present). "Chivas fans across the United States and from all over the Rocky Mountains will flock to Utah to see their beloved team play in the spectacular Rio Tinto Stadium."
Chivas de Guadalajara - whose 2009 appearances in the United States are being presented by Official Sponsors Boost Mobile, Bud Light, and Jose Cuervo - becomes the fifth Mexican opponent to visit Utah, joining Monarcas Morelia (2005), Club Santos Laguna and U.A.N.L. Tigres (both 2008) and Club América in facing RSL since the advent of MLS on the Wasatch Front. All-time, RSL has posted a 6-4-2 mark against visiting international squads and holds a slight goal differential in such affairs (16 goals for / 15 goals against). Chivas de Guadalajara joins some of the planet's most revered clubs in facing Real Salt Lake, as Spain's Real Madrid (2006), Argentina's Boca Juniors (2007) and this year's MLS All-Star opponent and English FA Cup runners-up, Everton FC (2007), have previously blazed the trail to Salt Lake.
Real Salt Lake sought the international exhibition in order to keep the team sharp down the stretch run as it pursues a return trip to the MLS Cup Playoffs, with Head Coach Jason Kreis' squad observing a hiatus in MLS regular-season play between Sept. 26 and October 14. Due to a scheduling quirk and the FIFA international calendar, RSL has bye weeks on both Sat., Oct. 3 and Sat., Oct. 10, necessitating a world-class opponent on Wednesday, October 7.
All Real Salt Lake season ticket holders have first right of refusal for their current seats and will enjoy special, deeply-discounted pricing for the October 7 contest vs. Chivas de Guadalajara. All existing RSL season ticket holders will also have the ability to purchase additional tickets at a special discounted rate. For more information, please call the season ticket holder hotline at (801) 727.2702.
Advance sale ticket prices for the October 7 Real Salt Lake vs. Chivas de Guadalajara match begin at $20, with group and season ticket holder purchase discounts available in every section of Rio Tinto Stadium. Prices start at just $20 for Upper Deck seats and those in the North and South Goals, $25 in the Corner Flag sections, $30 on the Lower Sidelines and $60 in the Front Row and Midfield areas. Advance purchase is encouraged, as day of game prices will increase $10 per ticket, regardless of location, for all seats purchased on Wednesday, October 7. For more information, please visit www.RealSaltLake.com or www.RioTintoStadium.com. Tickets go on sale to the general public via www.RioTintoStadium.com on Friday, August 21, at 10:00 a.m. MT.
Officially named Club Deportivo Guadalajara (or C.D. Guadalajara), "Chivas" (nicknamed "Goats") is based in the capital city of the Mexican state of Jalisco and owned by Omnilife entrepreneur Jorge Vergara, also an MLS investor. Guadalajara and its rivals, Club América, share not only a long-standing rivalry but the distinction of being the two most successful teams in the Mexican first division - América with its 10 championships, behind Chivas and its 11. Meetings between the two, which have become known as "Super Clásicos," are played at least twice a year and signal a national derby. Having never been relegated to the league's second division, they are the only two clubs to have been in the first division of the Mexican football league from the very beginning.
C.D. Guadalajara was founded on May 8th, 1906, by a young Belgian shopkeeper named Edgar Everaert, as Club de Futbol Union. Upon returning from a trip across Europe, Everaert made the observation that European teams named after their respective town or city generated more support from fans in their communities. Thus, in 1908, with the approval of Everaert and the team's players, Club de Futbol Union would rename itself Club Deportivo Guadalajara to bring about a sense of pride within the city's population. Also in 1908, it was decided that the team would only field Mexican-born players, because of the eventual oppression Mexican nationals felt towards foreigners. To this day, C.D. Guadalajara is the only football club in Mexico to exclusively field Mexican-born players.
Rio Tinto Stadium opened in October 2008 in Sandy, Utah. The breathtaking venue recently hosted the League's 14th annual MLS All-Star Game, one of the League's premier events, for the first time, a 1-1 draw that saw Everton FC (England) emerge 4-3 in the penalty kick tiebreaker. The stadium is the seventh soccer-primary building to be built in the United States and first to open since the Colorado Rapids' Dicks Sporting Goods Park and Toronto FC's BMO Field opened in 2007. Red Bull Arena, home of the New York Red Bulls, is slated to open in Harrison, N.J. early in 2010, as will the expansion Philadelphia Union's suburban Chester, Penn., venue.
(Courtesy of Rio Tinto Stadium press department)