Reports: Rio Tinto Stadium to Host Olympic Qualifiers

March 9th, 2015 | by Sean Walker

Ever since the franchise announced the venue in 2008, Real Salt Lake has always called Rio Tinto Stadium a world-class venue.

The world’s game will host more class this fall.

Rio Tinto Stadium will be host to the semifinals and final of the CONCACAF qualifying tournament for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to a report at American Soccer Now. The tourney, which has been scheduled for Oct. 1-13 of this year, will feature two groups of four teams each in a round-robin tournament, according to earlier reports.

The winners of each semifinal will gain automatic admission to the Olympics, and the winner of the third-place will play South America’s runner-up Colombia in a playoff for a spot at Rio.

Bringing the United States’ U-23 men’s national team to Utah would be another major event in the soccer calendar of Salt Lake City. The first international match in the stadium came in 2009, when the United States took on El Salvador in a World Cup qualifier — also a 2-1 victory in front of 19,000 fans.

The U.S. women’s national team also faced Mexico in 2010 and Canada in 2012 in the home of Real Salt Lake.

Age-eligible players for the 2016 Summer Olympics include World Cup players Julian Green, DeAndre Yedlin and John Anthony Brooks, as well as RSL star midfielder Luis Gil and Wil Trapp of Columbus Crew SC.

The U-23s are already scheduled to play friendlies this year against Bosnia and Denmark.

What do you think? Is this major get for RSL and Rio Tinto Stadium to bring in Olympic qualifiers?

Sean Walker

Sean Walker

Salt City FC editor-in-chief Sean Walker has been covering soccer at all levels since 2007. He began his career in Las Vegas, and has since written for publications from the Intermountain West to Central New York, where he attended graduate school in 2012. Currently, Sean covers Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer for A struggling Evertonian by birth, Sean follows European soccer through the blue lens of the Toffees, and has strong feelings toward the UEFA Europa League.

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