Major League Soccer released its complete 2005 regular season schedule Monday, and although Real will play no more than two consecutive home or away games, the team likely will fare better after the All-Star Game on July 30. Real plays eight home games the first four months of the season, then plays eight home games in the last three months.
"It's balanced, and there are some very attractive dates for fans in Utah," Real general manager Steve Pastorino said. "We're pretty used to busy MLS schedules in July, August and into September."
In addition to the MLS regular-season schedule, there is a chance the team will play some Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup games. Or possibly, the team could be host to a World Cup qualifier.
After the All-Star break, Real will leave the Mountain Time zone only three times. On Aug. 10, the team will play the Revolution in New England; on Sept. 18, Real plays at Dallas; and Oct. 8, Real plays the Earthquakes in San Jose.
The defending champions, D.C. United, will not bring Adu to Rice-Eccles Stadium until Oct. 5, one of only three Wednesday games in Salt Lake City. The home schedule also includes 10 Saturday games, two Monday games and one Friday match, June 3 against Jason Kreis' old team, FC Dallas.
FC Dallas also plays in Utah on July 23 during Pioneer Day celebrations.
The schedule released Monday also has the MetroStars coming to play Real on July 4.
A handful of RSL collectable items are included in an online auction until Friday, with the proceeds slated to benefit the Tom Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship Fund. Fitzgerald coached the Columbus Crew and the University of Tampa and was a close friend of Real coach John Ellinger. He passed away in December.
Real items up for sale include Clint Mathis and Eddie Pope training jerseys and two balls signed by the entire RSL roster of players. The auction can be found at http://www.theCrew.com.
Halilovic on board
Bosnian defender Senad Halilovic has joined Real in training camp in Bradenton, Fla., and although he speaks virtually no English, he seems to be meshing well with his teammates. Halilovic played 62 minutes against San Jose on Sunday.
"He is looking like he has a ton of potential," Pastorino said. "We have very high expectations for him."