Real Salt Lake might get homesick playing five of its first seven games away from Utah this season, but when RSL has to face last year's best, more often than not, it will be at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The Los Angeles Galaxy, the San Jose Earthquakes and the Seattle Sounders each come here twice this season, while RSL only visits those teams once each. In total, Real will play 10 home games to seven road games against 2012 playoff teams.
"Overall we like the schedule from a competitive side," RSL president Bill Manning said Wednesday, as Major League Soccer unveiled its full schedule for the 2013 season.
Manning sees the schedule broken down into three stretches. With RSL playing a heavy road schedule early in part because of weather concerns, the president wants to see his team stay somewhere around the .500 mark.
"We'll be integrating some new faces into the team," Manning said. "That will be a pretty good test for our guys especially traveling on the road."
But RSL has a chance to make up plenty of ground come late May when it gets Chicago, San Jose, Los Angeles and Seattle at home before having to go on the road again. Then, starting late August, Real will play five of its last eight games at Rio Tinto.
"Starting Aug. 24 against Columbus, is really the stretch run for the playoffs," Manning said.
Following an offseason that saw RSL trade three major figures from its 2009 championship side, familiar faces Jamison Olave and Fabian Espindola won't get a Salt Lake City homecoming; RSL only faces the Red Bulls one time this year, in New York.
Former RSL midfielder Will Johnson, however, will return with the Portland Timbers on Aug. 21.
RSL's 2013 schedule
Sun., March 3 @ San Jose Earthquakes 8:30
Sat., March 9 @ D.C. United 5:00
Sat., March 16 Colorado Rapids TBD
Sat., March 23 @ FC Dallas 6:30
Sat., March 30 Seattle Sounders FC 7:00
Sat., April 6 @ Colorado Rapids 1:30 (TV: NBCSN)
Sat., April 13 @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC TBD
Sat., April 20 Chivas USA 7:00
Sat., April 27 Los Angeles Galaxy 7:00
Sat., May 4 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 7:00
Wed., May 8 @ New England Revolution 6:00
Sat., May 11 @ Montreal Impact FC TBD
Sun., May 19 @ Chivas USA 8:30
Sat., May 25 Chicago Fire 7:00
Sat., June 1 San Jose Earthquakes 7:30
Sat., June 8 Los Angeles Galaxy 7:30
Sat., June 22 Seattle Sounders FC 7:30
Sat., June 29 @ Toronto FC TBD
Wed., July 3 Philadelphia Union 8:00
Sat., July 13 @ FC Dallas 7:00
Sat., July 20 Sporting Kansas City 8:00
Sat., July 27 @ New York Red Bulls 5:00
Wed., July 31 at&t MLS All-Star Game ESPN
Sat., August 3 @ Colorado Rapids 7:00
Sat., August 10 Houston Dynamo 7:30
Sat., August 17 @ Los Angeles Galaxy 8:30
Wed., August 21 @ Portland Timbers FC 9:00
Sat., August 24 Columbus Crew 7:30
Fri., August 30 Portland Timbers 8:00 (TV: NBCSN)
Fri., Sept. 13 @ Seattle Sounders FC 8:00 (TV: NBCSN)
Sat., Sept. 21 San Jose Earthquakes 7:00
Sat., Sept. 28 @ Vancouver Whitecaps FC TBD
Sat., Oct. 5 FC Dallas 7:00
Sat., Oct. 19 @ Portland Timbers FC 8:30
Wed., Oct. 23 Chivas USA 7:00