Established in 2004 and appeared in the MLS only a year later, Real Salt Lake won the MLS Cup only 4 years after arriving in the league (2009), and were runners-up in 2013, when they lost against Kansas City. In addition, Real Salt Lake were awarded the Supporters’ Shield in 2010 and 2013. One of the biggest success in the franchise history was the runners-up finish in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2008, which was the first time an American team managed to advance to the finals. As for their last season performance, Real Salt Lake finished 6th in the West, achieved Conference semi-finals in the MLS Cup and were knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup in the 4th round for the 2nd year in a row.
Head Coach: Mike Petke
Former D.C. United, Colorado Rapids and New York Red Bulls defender started his coaching career in 2011 when he was appointed as an assistant in New York Red Bulls. On January 24th 2013 he was promoted to the head coach position where he stayed for 2 years. In his time at Red Bulls, Petke guided the Red Bulls to their first major trophy, the Supporters’ Shield in 2013 season. In the 2014 season, Petke led Red Bulls into yet another successful season, getting the team into the playoffs and into the Eastern Conference Finals, where they were defeated by New England Revolution. After being fired as the head coach of Red Bulls in 2015, he spent his time as a commentator on ONE World Sports. In March 2017, he was named the head coach of Real Salt Lake after spending 3 months as the head coach of Real Monarchs.
|Date||Name||Moving from||Moving to||Mode of Transfer|
|January 7, 2019||Everton Luiz||SPAL||Real Salt Lake||Loan|
|February 4, 2019||Sam Johnson||Vålerenga||Real Salt Lake||Transfer|
|December 14, 2018||Donny Toia||Orlando City||Real Salt Lake||Re-Entry Draft|
|January 3, 2019||Tate Schmitt||Louisville Cardinals||Real Salt Lake||Homegrown player|
|January 3, 2019||Erik Holt||UCLA Bruins||Real Salt Lake||Homegrown player|
|December 12, 2018||Ricky Lopez-Espin||Real Salt Lake||Los Angeles FC||Waiver Draft|
|December 28, 2018||Danilo Acosta||Real Salt Lake||Orlando City||Loan|
|February 1, 2019||José Hernández||Real Salt Lake||LA Galaxy II||Free|
|December 13, 2018||Connor Sparrow||Real Salt Lake||Nashville SC||Free|
|February 1, 2019||Shawn Barry||Real Salt Lake||Tampa Bay Rowdies||Free|
Expectations for the 2019 season
Real Salt Lake had a decent season. While they barely got into the playoffs, after Houston defeated LA Galaxy on the last day of the regular season, Real Salt Lake played well. In the Knockout round, they were faced against Los Angeles FC, who they defeated 2:3. In the Conference Semi-finals RSL eventually lost to Sporting Kansas City who won with an aggregate score of 3:5. With good performance last season, the expectations for Real Salt Lake in 2019 are high. I believe they will try to build on their last season’s playoff run and hope for a few of their stars to “break out”. With a lot of young players, who have gained a ton of experience last season, I believe RSL will be a contender for the playoffs spot once again. While they are still far from winning the league, their young talent should bring them in the top 7 by the end of the season.