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Deportivo Saprissa downs Olimpia, will face Real Salt Lake in CCL semifinals

If Real Salt Lake is going to become the first Major League Soccer team to reach a CONCACAF Champions League final, it will have to go through Estadio Saprissa to do so.

Deportivo Saprissa posted a 2-1 road victory against Honduran side CD Olimpia to win its quarterfinal series, 3-1, on aggregate. The victory sets up a Real Salt Lake-Saprissa semifinal, with the winner taking on the winner of the Monterrey-Cruz Azul Champions League semifinal.

Real Salt Lake will host the first leg of the semifinal series on March 15th at Rio Tinto Stadium, with Saprissa hosting the return leg at Estadio Saprissa on April 5th.

The match-up will offer up a homecoming for Real Salt Lake striker Alvaro Saborio, who began his career at Saprissa, where he established himself as one of the best forwards in the club's history.

RSL will need to play much better on the road than it has in the tournament, and in general for that matter, if it will hope to avoid a defeat at Saprissa, a stadium notorious for being an intimidating venue for visiting opponents.

If you're unfamiliar with Deportivo Saprissa, here are highlights of its victory against Olimpia:



What do you think of this match-up? Excited to see an MLS team this close to a regional final? Think Real Salt Lake can win the whole thing?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I agree. This series rides on how fast RSL can acclimate to in-season fitness and form. Watching the highlights I’d say RSL has the talent to win if they can get that form all the way back.

  2. I think RSL definitely has the capability of winning the tourney. The difference in mid-season form versus pre-season form is a big hurdle though.

  3. says 10 PM. So yes, it will overlap with First Kick.

    And ESPN2 will likely be giving CCL score updates during their First Kick broadcast, so be aware of that any one who plans to record the CCL match to watch later.

  4. That was the Concacaf Champions Cup Era. Absolutely nothing like it is today. Back then it was a 4 game tournament played in one week, always played at the home of the MLS side.

  5. If I had to pick any MLS team to take on Saprissa at the end of the off-season, I’d pick RSL. Here’s hoping America can once again shatter the futbol dreams of Costa Rica (think Bornstein in 2010 WCQ)…

  6. I think Salt Lake is a solid team and has excellent chances against Saprissa. I’m looking forward to it and hoping they can make the finals.

    Monterrey or Cruz Azul – that might be 2 embarrassing games to endure.

  7. Hopefully at some point in the that-too-distant future MLS teams won’t be underdogs whenever they play regional powers.

    Go RSL. It’d be good for the region for MLS teams to go on a good regional run.

  8. Going to be tough. Seems to me like RSL will have to take advantage of their superior fitness at altitude at Rio Tinto and play not to lose at Estadio Saprissa.

    Definitely doable though.

  9. On September 16, 2009 Columbus crew defeated Saprissa 1-0. So an mls team did win at that stadium, it’s not that impossible

  10. Is Don Garber going to send a shipment of MLS umbrellas for the walk from the tunnel onto the pitch? Some earplugs for the hotel would also be a good idea.

  11. I am a huge RSL fan, but IMO, RSL has to be considered the underdog here. RSL must play for a strong result at home in the cold…to play in estadio Saprissa, against a team in mid-season form in the return leg will be extremely difficult.

    I think RSL has the talent to pull off the upset, but I think this will be just as difficult as beating a Mexican side in the Final…


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