SANDY — Real Salt Lake learned its 34-game schedule on Thursday, which will kick off its eighth season of MLS play. Real Salt Lake will usher in the upcoming season Saturday, March 10, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with a Western Conference Championship rematch against the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. p.m. MT.
A week later RSL will host the first of its 17 regular-season home contests with another marquee match-up, as international star Thierry Henry will lead the New York Red Bulls into Rio Tinto Stadium.
The RSL-Galaxy showdown on March 10 will be part of that day's five-game MLS slate beginning First Kick 2012, presented by Dick's Sporting Goods, which will continue with two Sunday games — including the first MLS game on NBC Sports Network (FC Dallas v. New York) — and concludes with a special Monday night contest on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes (Portland v. Philadelphia).
The 2012 MLS regular season will conclude Sunday, Oct. 28 with three games, followed by the MLS Cup Playoffs and the championship game — MLS Cup 2012 — on Dec. 1, hosted by one of the two finalists. From First Kick to MLS Cup, the calendar footprint of the 2012 season is 267 days — the longest in league history (as is the regular season, at 232 days).
RSL fans will have several chances to get an early glimpse at their Claret-and-Cobalt, as Real Salt Lake will follow its road opener in Los Angeles with four of its next five contests at home, including the lone contest of the season against the Red Bulls, a visit by former assistant coach Robin Fraser and his Chivas USA squad (March 24), the first-ever meeting against expansion newcomer Montreal Impact and ex-RSL midfielder Collen Warner (April 4) and the first of three 2012 Rocky Mountain Cup showdowns against the archrival Colorado Rapids (April 7).
REAL SALT LAKE 2012 SCHEDULE / KEY DATES (as of Jan. 5, 2012)
Day Date Matchup Time (MT) TV Note:
Sat. March 10 @ Los Angeles Galaxy 8 p.m.
Sat. MARCH 17 NEW YORK RED BULLS 7 p.m..
Sat. MARCH 24 CHIVAS USA 7 p.m.
Sat. March 31 @ Portland Timbers 8 p.m.
WED. APRIL 4 MONTREAL IMPACT 7 p.m.
SAT. APRIL 7 COLORADO RAPIDS 7 p.m.
Sat. April 14 @ Sporting Kansas City 6 p.m.
Sat. April 21 @ San Jose Earthquakes 8 p.m.
Wed. April 25 @ FC Dallas 6 p.m.
SAT. APRIL 28 TORONTO FC 7 p.m.
SAT. MAY 5 N.E. REVOLUTION 7 p.m.
Wed. May 9 @ Chicago Fire 6 p.m.
Sat. May 12 @ Seattle Sounders FC 8 p.m.
SAT. MAY 26 FC DALLAS 7 p.m.
Sat. June 16 @ Chivas USA 8 p.m.
WED. JUNE 20 LOS ANGELES GALAXY 7 p.m.
SAT. JUNE 23 SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES 7 p.m.
Sat. June 30 @ Columbus Crew 6 p.m.
WED. JULY 4 SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC 8 p.m.
SAT. JULY 7 PORTLAND TIMBERS 7 p.m.
Sat. July 14 @ San Jose Earthquakes 8 p.m.
Wed. July 18 @ Seattle Sounders FC 9 p.m.
SAT. JULY 21 COLORADO RAPIDS 8 p.m.
FRI. JULY 27 VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC 7 p.m.
Sat. Aug. 4 @ Colorado Rapids 7 p.m.
Sat. Aug. 11 @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC 5 p.m.
SAT. AUG. 18 FC DALLAS 7 p.m.
Fri. Aug. 24 @ Philadelphia Union 5 p.m.
SAT. SEPT. 1 D.C. UNITED 7 p.m.
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Thurs. Sept. 6 @ Houston Dynamo 6 p.m.
SAT. SEPT. 22 PORTLAND TIMBERS 6 p.m.
Sat. Sept. 29 @ Chivas USA 8 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 6 @ Los Angeles Galaxy 7 p.m.
SAT. OCT. 27 VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC 7 p.m.
All times MT