SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Real Salt Lake hosts the most famous and most valuable soccer club in the world, Manchester United in an international friendly Monday night at Rio Tinto Stadium, and the team is just as excited as the fans are.
“I think it is an exciting opportunity everybody on the team is buzzing about it,” said RSL defender Justen Glad. “We can’t wait to play.”
“Manchester United, what an honor to play against them, ” added RSL head coach Mike Petke. “It is good for the city, great for the organization. It is great for the young guys, but also the veteran guys to play against a team like that.”
“It is a day to remember for some of the guys for the rest of their lives,” said RSL forward Albert Rusnak. “Playing against one of the best teams in the world doesn’t happen every day. To get a chance like this it is great.”
Rusnak is the only RSL player who has played against Manchester United. As a product of the Manchester City Academy, Rusnak has first hand knowledge of how great an opportunity this is.
“I grew up in England playing for Man City Academy for seven years ,” Rusnak said. “So I know what it is to play against Man United. “It was different when you played Manchester City because it is a big rivalry. But make no mistake it will be the same type of game for me.”
“When you think of soccer, people don’t know soccer knows who Manchester United,” Petke said. “To have them come to a place like Salt Lake is phenomenal for the community and supporters to see caliber like that.”
Manchester United is just beginning their preseason, while RSL is gearing up for push for the MLS playoffs. Each team is expected to play their starters for the first 30 minutes of the match. So, how much is each team wanting to win?
“We are a team who wants to win for sure,” Rusnak said. “Not many teams can say they beat Manchester United. They’re a team that is full of winning mentality players, so they will want to win the game as well.”
“They’re a very talented group,” added Glad. “I know it is preseason for them, but they are competitors. I hope they will come and and give it their all.”