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Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Real's #15 Alvaro Saborio, right, turns the ball just befor LA's #3 David Junior Lopes can get at it as Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy play Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at Rio Tinto Stadium. LA won 3-2.

SANDY — The dates for Real Salt Lake's four group games in the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League were announced today.

RSL opens on the road in Costa Rica against CS Herediano on Tuesday, July 31 at 8 p.m. Its first CCL game at Rio Tinto Stadium is Tuesday, Aug. 21 against Panama's Tauro FC at 8 p.m.

RSL's third game is at Tauro on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m., and it wraps up group play on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at home against Herediano at 8 p.m.

The group winner advances to the quarterfinals in early March of 2013.

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Of the four Champions League group games, Real Salt Lake only has to play on short rest twice.

Prior to traveling to Costa Rica on July 31, Real Salt Lake hosts Vancouver on Friday, July 27. A month later, prior to hosting Tauro on Aug. 21, it hosts FC Dallas on Aug. 18.

The rest of the schedule is quite favorable for RSL. Instead of traveling to Panama on Sept. 18 on short rest, RSL has over a week to prepare following a Sept. 6 match at Houston.

For its all-important last game on Oct. 23, coach Jason Kreis' team will have nearly a week to prepare after playing in Seattle on Oct. 17.