Real Salt Lake became the twelfth MLS franchise when Major League Soccer awarded an expansion franchise on July 14, 2004, to SCP Worldwide, headed by Dave Checketts. Jason Kreis became the first player in RSL history, coming in a trade from the Dallas Burn. Other notable players that played in RSL’s early years include veterans Clint Mathis, Eddie Pope, and Jeff Cunningham.
RSL’s first season was 2005 under head coach John Ellinger. RSL began to play on April 2, 2005, against New York MetroStars at Giants Stadium, which ended in a scoreless tie. The following week, Jason Kreis scored the first goal in franchise history in a 3–1 loss to LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center. RSL played its first-ever home match on April 16, 2005, before 25,287 fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium; Brian Dunseth scored a header in the 81st minute to deliver a 1–0 victory over the Colorado Rapids. The season was mostly a disappointment, however, with the team setting a league record by posting a 557-minute scoreless streak (later broken by Toronto FC). They were also on a 10-game losing streak before managing a 2–2 draw on the road against San Jose Earthquakes. The first season finished with a record of 5–22–5.
MLS Cup 2009 was the 14th edition of the MLS Cup, the championship match of Major League Soccer (MLS). The match took place on November 22, 2009, at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington, and was contested between the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
Real Salt Lake won the match 5–4 in a penalty shootout following a 1–1 draw. Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando was named man of the match for making several saves in the shootout, allowing defender Robbie Russell to score the winning goal. It was the club’s first championship, coming in their fifth season in the league, and the second MLS Cup to be decided by a shootout.
An attendance of 46,011 people made 2009 final the fourth-largest in MLS Cup history. It was also the first MLS Cup to be played on artificial turf. The match was broadcast in the United States on ESPN and Galavisión.
RSL began play in 2005 as an expansion team of the league. The club was founded in 2004 when the club’s first owner and founder was awarded an expansion berth in Major League Soccer.
The club plays its home games at Rio Tinto Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium located in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy, Utah, which they share with their sister team, Utah Royals FC. Before moving to Rio Tinto, RSL played home games at Rice-Eccles Stadium, located on the campus of the University of Utah, from 2005–2007. The team is currently led by interim head coach Freddy Juarez.
Salt Lake City
2005 – Present / Major League Soccer
2005 – Present / Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake – Founder David Checketts provided his club with an international taste with “Real Salt Lake,” hinting at an alleged partnership with Spanish giants Real Madrid. Local reaction to the new team’s name was initially met with mixed feelings. On top of that, some thought that the name sounded contrived, and did not truly reflect the Salt Lake area, with other suggested team names such as “Highlanders”, “Salt Lake SC”, or “Union SLC” being more preferred. However, by at least 2014, reaction to the name had improved, with the team establishing its identity as a representative of Salt Lake.
MLS Cups 1
2008 – Present / Rio Tinto Stadium
2005 – 2008 / Rice-Eccles Stadium
2012 – Present / Dell Loy Hansen
20014 – 2012 / Dave Checketts
9 Jason Kreis
11 Javier Morales
*Blue is this team’s history