Real Salt Lake to host Manchester United in July

Real Salt Lake to host Manchester United in July (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) A day after firing its head coach, Real Salt Lake announced that Manchester United will visit Utah to play in Rio Tinto Stadium on the evening of July 17.

The Manchester club, from the English Premiere League, has been called the most valued soccer franchise in the world by the BBC. It also is widely supported, with a fan following from around the world.

RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen was on hand to speak at Tuesday's press-conference announcement, along with RSL and U.S. national team midfielder Kyle Beckerman and Real's manager Craig Waibel.

"We think we can meet the best in the world and stand on the field with them," Hansen said. "We hope our fans will agree with us."

Manchester's captain, Wayne Rooney, is among the best and most recognized players in the world and is the highest scorer in the team history. He also captained the England national team. Since he joined United in 2004, the team as won the Premiere League title five times.

"It will be a great event for soccer in this country, for soccer in this state and continuing to grow it," Beckerman said. "Such a storied team, to get to play against them in our home stadium, it will be just a great event for our fans. We know the score line will go across the world. It should be a fun night."

Hansen said there was abnormal interest after it was learned yesterday Manchester would be visiting Salt Lake and he said it would draw fans from around the west. Season ticket holders, including new season ticket holders, will get priority purchasing for the July 17 friendly.

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