When the LA Galaxy won the 2014 MLS Cup final over the New England Revolution, Real Salt Lake were able to qualify for the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League.
After missing out on the competition a year earlier due to a rule change that was passed, Real Salt Lake are back in the tournament. They join four other MLS clubs to complete the North American teams who qualified.
Those clubs are LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, D.C. United and Vancouver Whitecaps.
The 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League draw will be held on Monday June, 1st in Miami, Florida. All five Major League Soccer clubs who earned a berth will know who their opponents will be. So far what has been announced is the pots in which all 24 competing teams were grouped in. (courtesy of www.mlssoccer.com)
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For Real Salt Lake, this means a lot to them — as well as the league itself.
RSL will look to return to the CCL final again after almost completing one of the biggest Cinderella-like stories for a Major League Soccer club. The Royals advanced to the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League final against Mexican-based club Monterrey where they would lose 3-2 on aggregate, a defeat that happened in Real Salt Lake’s own backyard — Rio Tinto Stadium.
To qualify for the third time in club history — the first since the ’12-’13 CCL — goes to show you how difficult it is to earn a berth.
Second year head coach Jeff Cassar on returning to the CCL, “It’s exciting for the players, exciting for the staff, exciting for the organization and the fans.”
The CONCACAF Champions League features the top premier clubs from North America, Central America and the Carribean. So far this year’s tournament will see the best and strongest teams that MLS has to offer.
They would be able to boast their four best clubs. Powerhouses of LA Galaxy (5-time MLS Cup winners) and D.C. United (4-time MLS Cup winners) are joined with Seattle Sounders FC (4-time U.S. Open Cup winners), Real Salt Lake (’10-’11 CCL runner-up) and Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3-time Canadian Championship runner-ups).
Can Real Salt Lake return to the final and complete a story that was left unfinished?