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HOU vs URFC: What We Learned

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Another road point, more solid play from the NWSL royalty

Gunny Jónsdóttir moves the ball upfield during the Utah Royals FC match vs Houston Dash, 03/30/2018
Trask Smith

Utah Royals FC played their second match

Improving game-to-game

Despite seeing two starters from week 1 miss this match due to injury, and another player leave this one early for the same reason, the team as a whole played better against Houston than they had in Orlando.

Passing number, completion percent, and possession were much higher this time, as were the number of shots on goal. The defense also kept the Dash from putting any of their shots on frame, which meant that URFC controlled the match for long stretches and absorbed the Houston counter attack well. Only a couple of saves from Jane Campbell on two great Gunny Jónsdóttir shots kept the visitors from their first win of the year.

World-class talent

These players are so good, and the Royals FC players had it on display in this match. Proper spacing, tactical awareness, sharp passing; not too many players in white kits put a foot wrong tonight, at least as long as you’re not asking Kelley O’Hara what she thought from the visitors suite:

All that aside, it bears mentioning again that these are players who fill the rosters of some of the best national teams in the world. It’s a joy and privilege to watch, and it’s going to be a real treat to get them on the pitch at the RioT in two weeks time.

The goals will come

Some great saves by the current and future of USWNT goalkeeping have kept the team to one goal in two matches, but the passing on display in Houston is going to pay with scoring soon. The players look far more comfortable than may have been expected, and the Dash players looked frustrated with how in command URFC was after feeling like the better team against Chicago. They won’t lack for chances to put a few away, and once they start coming the confidence will only build.

Overreactions

  • Gunny is going to be the NWSL Golden Boot winner.
  • Thank goodness Allen Chapman can’t officiate NWSL matches.