NEW YORK, April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- On the next two Wednesday nights (April 20 & 27 - both 10 p.m. on FOX Soccer), Real Salt Lake will try to become the first Major League Soccer club ever to advance to, and play in, the FIFA Club World Cup, an event with more than $16 million in prize money. The past three winners are: Inter Milan, FC Barcelona and Manchester United.
See MLS Commissioner Don Garber, LA's David Beckham, New York's Thierry Henry and others wish RSL good luck here.
The event: The Champions League Final for our region*
Format: Two-game, aggregate goals (April 20 in Monterrey; April 27 in Utah)
On the line: A berth in the prestigious FIFA Club World Cup
- Host nation and six regional champions from around the world qualify
- Scheduled to take place in Japan this December
- Winner takes home $5 million
- Inter Milan, the 2010 UEFA Champions League winner, won last year's edition
The opponent: Monterrey (Rayados) – reigning Mexican League champion has never won Champions League.
The history: Only two MLS clubs have ever won our region's championship – D.C. United in 1998 and the LA Galaxy in 2000 – and those titles came when the competition was smaller, and neither resulted in a Club World Cup appearance.
Never in Mexico: No MLS club (nor the U.S. Men's National Team) has ever won a game on Mexican soil that is part of an official competition.
- Since MLS began in 1996, its clubs are 0-21-3 in games hosted by Mexican clubs.
- The U.S. national team's all-time record in Mexico is 0-23-1.
- SI's Grant Wahl left out a few MLS results in this post. So now it's 48 games, zero wins. Real Salt Lake looks to end that streak on April 20.
A fortress: Real Salt Lake are unbeaten in their last 34 home games in all competitions (25-0-9).
- Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah is one of the finest soccer venues in North America
The semifinal: Real Salt Lake defeated Costa Rican powerhouse Saprissa, 2-0 at home, then lost 2-1 at Saprissa, but advance by a 3-2 aggregate score. The historic result in Costa Rica, and preparations for the final, are colorfully documented by this video.
REGULAR SEASON MATCH MOVED TO HELP: MLS moved an RSL-Philadelphia match, originally scheduled for April 23, to Sept. 3 to accommodate Real Salt Lake's appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League Finals.
SOURCE Major League Soccer