The way Garth Lagerwey sees it, the official release of the MLS schedule on Thursday was pretty anticlimactic — and not just because the Real Salt Lake general manager has known about it for weeks already.

Heading into the 2008 season, RSL knew what teams it would play and how many times, "so the order in which we play them really isn't that meaningful," Lagerwey said.

He admits it sounds a bit trite, but that's reality from a competition standpoint.

With that said, Lagerwey believes the opening month of the 30-game schedule is a pretty tough one for RSL. After kicking off the season at home on March 29 against Chicago, three of the club's next four games are on the road, including a pair of home openers at Chivas USA on April 5 and at Toronto FC on April 19.

"With the new group and new faces, that's going to be one our challenges," Lagerwey said.

With the increased availability of Rice-Eccles Stadium in the spring and summer months, RSL will be at home a lot during the first four months of the season. With 11 of its first 19 games in Utah, if it takes care of business at home, RSL should be in good shape heading into the final three months of the season.

It will need to be, because points will be much tougher to come by after July. Seven of Salt Lake's final 11 games are on the road, including visits to Houston, Los Angeles, New York, New England and Colorado.

RSL's only four home games after July are Aug. 29 against Colorado, Sept. 20 vs. Chivas USA, Oct. 9 against New York and Oct. 18 vs. FC Dallas. There will likely be two home exhibition games in August as well, including one against Real Madrid.

Real is hopeful construction on its Sandy stadium will be wrapped up by early October so it can play two regular-season games there prior to the playoffs. RSL is hoping to open the new stadium on Oct. 9 against New York in a nationally televised game on ESPN2.

David Beckham's only visit to Rice-Eccles Stadium will be Saturday, May 3, one of 10 Saturday home games on the schedule.

Other schedule highlights include a home game against MLS Cup champion Houston on July 3, featuring a postgame fireworks show, and another postgame fireworks show on July 24 following a yet-to-be-determined exhibition match.


2008 Regular Season Schedule

Day/Date . . . . . Team . . . . . Time . . . . . TV

Sat., March 29 . . . . . CHICAGO FIRE . . . . . 4 p.m.

Sat., April 5 . . . . . at Chivas USA . . . . . 8:30 p.m. . . . . . (HDNet)

Sat., April 12 . . . . . D.C. UNITED . . . . . 7 p.m.

Sat., April 19 . . . . . at Toronto FC . . . . . 1:30 p.m.

Sat., April 26 . . . . . at D.C. United . . . . . 5:30 p.m.

Sat., April 30 . . . . . vs. San Jose . . . . . 7 p.m.

Sat., May 3 . . . . . L.A. GALAXY . . . . . 7 p.m.

Sat., May 10 . . . . . FC DALLAS . . . . . 7 P.M.

Thu., May 15 . . . . . at Colorado . . . . . 7:30 p.m. . . . . . (ESPN2)

Sat., May 24 . . . . . at FC Dallas . . . . . 6:30 p.m.

Sat., May 31 . . . . . SAN JOSE . . . . . 7 p.m. . . . . . (FSC)

Sat., June 7 . . . . . KANSAS CITY . . . . . 7 p.m.

Sat., June 14 . . . . . at Chivas USA . . . . . 8:30 p.m.

Wed., June 18 . . . . . SAN JOSE . . . . . 7 p.m.

Sat., June 21 . . . . . NEW ENGLAND . . . . . 7:30 p.m.

Sat., June 28 . . . . . at Kansas City . . . . . 6 p.m
.

Thu., July 3 . . . . . HOUSTON . . . . . 8 p.m. . . . . . (ESPN2)

Sat., July 12 . . . . . COLUMBUS . . . . . 7 p.m. . . . . . (HDNet)

Sat., July 19 . . . . . at Chicago . . . . . 6:30 p.m.

Thu., July 24 . . . . . Exhibition TBA

Mon., July 28 . . . . . TORONTO FC . . . . . 7 p.m.

Sat., Aug. 2 . . . . . Open Date

Sat., Aug. 9 . . . . . Open Date

Sat., Aug. 16 . . . . . at Houston . . . . . 6:30 p.m.

Sat., Aug 23 . . . . . at Columbus . . . . . 5:30 p.m.

Fri., Aug. 29 . . . . . COLORADO . . . . . 7 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 6 . . . . . at L.A. Galaxy . . . . . 8:30 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 13 . . . . . at New York . . . . . 5:30 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 20 . . . . . CHIVAS USA . . . . . 7 p.m.

Sat., Sept. 27 . . . . . at San Jose . . . . . 8 p.m. . . . . . HDNet)

Sat., Oct. 4 . . . . . at New England . . . . . 5:30 p.m.

Thu., Oct. 9 . . . . . NEW YORK . . . . . 8 P.M. . . . . . (ESPN2)

Sat., Oct. 18 . . . . . FC DALLAS . . . . . 7 p.m. . . . . . (FSC)

Sat., Oct. 25 . . . . . at Colorado . . . . . 7:30 p.m. . . . . . (HDNet)

— U.S. Open Cup match

All Times MDT

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