SANDY — To prepare itself for a grueling CONCACAF Champions League slate later this summer, Real Salt Lake announced that it has scheduled a June 19 exhibition against a team from the region, Costa Rican club Puntarenas F.C.

Kickoff for the match at Rio Tinto Stadium is slated for 7 p.m.

"On the heels of some outstanding international games in 2009, we are looking to take the next step forward as a club and establish ourselves not just as MLS champions, but as a regional powerhouse in 2010," said RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey. "In order to accomplish that we must succeed in the CONCACAF Champions League. We are excited to host Puntarenas for this match, as they are precisely the type of opponent we will face later this fall."

RSL qualified for the CCL and received a bye into the group stages by winning last year's MLS Cup. It has been placed in Group A along with Panama champion Arabe Unide and two other teams to be determined during preliminary play. Those two other teams will be the San Francisco (Panama)/Cruz Azul (Mexico) winner and the Toronto FC (Canada)/Motagua (Honduras) winner.

The winner of the annual CONCACAF Champions League qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup. The 2011 Club World Cup will be held in December in Japan.

Season ticket holders will use "Exhibition Ticket A" for entry in the match. Tickets go on sale to the general public today at 10 a.m. and ticket prices range from $15 to $60.

Puntarenas was founded in 2004 and it has consistently been one of the top clubs in Costa Rica.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH: RSL owner Dave Checketts presented Clint Mathis with his 2009 MLS Championship ring prior to Wednesday's match.

Mathis played a critical role in Salt Lake's championship victory over the Galaxy as he replaced an injured Javier Morales in the 22nd minute and proceeded to play 98 minutes. He also converted RSL's first penalty kick in the shootout.

In the offseason he was traded to the L.A. Galaxy.

Mathis wasn't in the starting line-up on Wednesday, and after receiving the ring from Checketts he had a big grin on his face as he walked back to the bench to shake the hands with the L.A. coaches and fellow reserves that he helped defeat last November.

POWER OUTAGE: Perhaps even Zeus was watching RSL's game. It certainly had the credentials to draw in the Greek god of lightning with the league's two hottest teams. It stands to reason he was watching as the weather forced a 37-minute lightning delay.

Following a couple of close strikes, the officials called a halt to the action at the 12:06 mark of the opening half. Major League Soccer rules state that play may resume no sooner than 15 minutes after the official deems conditions safe enough to play. It is the first time RSL has experienced a weather delay at home, and the second time overall with the last time coming in Chicago during the 2006 season.

SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT: David Cook, the 2008 "American Idol" winner, sang the National Anthem prior to Wednesday's match at Rio Tinto Stadium and also played a postgame concert.

e-mail: jedward@desnews.com