SANDY — If Real Salt Lake survives a tough early stretch in 2013, a favorable home schedule should help it compete for the Western Conference title once again this season.
MLS announced schedules for all teams Wednesday, and RSL plays five of its first seven games on the road, including its season opener at San Jose on Sunday, March 3.
That will be RSL’s only visit to the defending Supporters' Shield winners. After playing San Jose, Los Angeles and Seattle all twice on the road last year, Real Salt Lake will host those three teams at Rio Tinto Stadium in two of three meetings in 2013.
That includes a three-game stretch in June in which RSL hosts San Jose, Los Angeles and Seattle in succession.
The other team RSL will host twice is Chivas USA.
The four Western Conference teams coach Jason Kreis’ team will visit twice this year are Portland — which features former RSL midfielder Will Johnson — Dallas, Vancouver and Colorado.
Thirteen of Real Salt Lake’s 17 home games are on Saturday nights, with one Friday night game and two Wednesday night games. One of those Wednesday games is a July 3 visit from Philadelphia, one of four holiday games on the home schedule.
RSL hosts Chicago on Memorial Day weekend (May 25), Philadelphia on Independence Day weekend (July 3), Sporting Kansas City on Pioneer Day weekend (July 20) and Portland on Labor Day weekend (Aug. 30).
Real Salt Lake’s only game against New York in 2013 will be on the road, which means fans won’t have an opportunity to see Fabian Espindola and Jamison Olave play at Rio Tinto Stadium in 2013. The two RSL veterans were traded to New York in the offseason.
Here’s a complete look at the 2013 regular season schedule:
2013 Real Salt Lake Schedule
Date Opponent, Time
Sat., March 3 at San Jose, 8 p.m.
Sat., March 9 at D.C. United, 5 p.m.
Sat., March 16 COLORADO, 3:30 p.m.
Sat., March 23 at FC Dallas, 6:30 p.m.
Sat., March 30 SEATTLE, 7 p.m.
Sat., April 6 at Colorado, 1:30 p.m.
Sat., April 13 at Vancouver, TBD
Sat., April 20 CHIVAS USA, 7 p.m.
Sat., April 27 L.A. GALAXY, 7 p.m.
Sat., May 4 VANCOUVER, 7 p.m.
Wed., May 8 at New England, 6 p.m.
Sat., May 11 at Montreal, TBD
Sun., May 19 at Chivas USA, 8:30 p.m.
Sat., May 25 CHICAGO, 7 p.m.
Sat., June 1 SAN JOSE, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., June 8 L.A. GALAXY, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., June 22 SEATTLE, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., June 29 at Toronto, TBD
Wed., July 3 PHILADELPHIA, 8 p.m.
Sat., July 13 at FC Dallas, 7 p.m.
Sat., July 20 KANSAS CITY, 8 p.m.
Sat., July 27 at New York, 5 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 3 at Colorado, 7 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 10 HOUSTON, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 17 at L.A. Galaxy, 8:30 p.m.
Wed., Aug 21 at Portland, 9 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 24 COLUMBUS, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 30 PORTLAND, 8 p.m.
Fri., Sept. 13 at Seattle, 8 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 21 SAN JOSE, 7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 28 at Vancouver, TBD
Sat., Oct. 5 DALLAS, 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 19 at Portland, 8:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 23 CHIVAS USA, 7 p.m.