The breakthrough finally happened! Two goals, a clean sheet, and a win. Even happened in our own stadium. Now that Utah Royals FC have played six of the other eight teams in the league, we start to see repeat opponents for the next three matches, starting with the first-ever visit of Orlando Pride. Here’s a few reasons why this will be an important match.
Getting our due
Phantom handballs, Marta’s pot-and-kettle mockery of diving, and the fact that one of them is married to Dom Dwyer. There’s a lot of reasons URFC should be playing for their second win against Orlando this season, but we’ll settle for getting our first.
With a quarter of the season played, the Royals are one point behind the Pride in 6th place and could move into a three-way tie with Seattle and Chicago with a win. There’s momentum and confidence to build on before the team gets ten days off until the following match against Houston, and they need to keep their good form rolling with another strong performance.
Facing the challenge
The competition level goes up for this one. Orlando is in the middle of a road swing that saw them earn their first win ever against Chicago last Wednesday. They’ll have had a week between matches, but traveled twice in that span, which combined with the altitude may help a Royals team that is getting short rest.
Orlando has two of each type or result through their first six matches, and are at zero on goal differential. Despite the average performance, they won’t be any easier to play now than they were in week one, and the ladies in gold need to be ready to strike first and strike hard. (Author’s note: I’ve been watching Cobra Kai this week. No mercy!)
Making a stand
This is a really important time for Royals FC. They’re having fun, playing well, and things are starting to come together. They get two more games at home before getting their first test against a Portland crowd, so they need to maximize their points while they can.
Setting the tone at home and serving notice that getting points here is difficult is a must, so it’s possible the quick turnaround could actually be a blessing in disguise. If they can hold on to what worked well against Washington and carry it forward, a good run of positive results could follow.
When: Wednesday, May 9th, 7:00 PM MT
Where: Rio Tinto Stadium — Sandy, UT
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees
Broadcast: KMYU, KSL App, go90, ESPN 700
Referee: Michael Radchuk