One down, three to go. The longest road trip of the season for Utah Royals FC started off with a disappointing first road loss of the season, a 2-0 result in Portland. The team will look to get back to winning with their first match against Sky Blue FC and a visit to New Jersey.
Fall on your feet
A tough road loss like that following a good stretch at home means getting back into form immediately. That’s what makes the coming match both a blessing and a curse. Playing a team with one point, zero wins, and the worst goal differential in the league should mean the Royals have a great chance to get three points, but also makes it a trap game. Add in the promise of another rainy New Jersey night, and it means the team will have to work hard to earn the win.
Dealing with loss
URFC lost the match last week, and this week they lose two mainstays of their defensive identity, as well as one of their best attacking options. Amy Rodriguez, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Abby Smith have all been called in by Jill Ellis to be part of the preliminary roster for the upcoming U.S. Women’s National Team friendlies against China. The team signed 2018 draftee EJ Proctor as a replacement goalkeeper under the league’s new rules, and will have to shuffle players elsewhere to manage without their striker and center back/captain. It’s a chance for players like Katie Stengel, Brittany Ratcliffe, Katie Bowen, and Nicole Barnhart to step forward and show the strength this team has in its depth.
Calling all nations
Though the team will see the USWNT players leave early, the rest of the impressive cast of international talent will be ready to use this as a step towards playing for their country, with several of them being deeply involved in UEFA World Cup qualifying matches over the break. It’s time to shine and give everything for the club before departing to work for their home nations and elevate their level of play for the final two road matches of this four-game swing that follow the break.
It’s a good moment for the squad to show what they are made of and keep from falling too far behind in the search for a playoff spot.
When: Saturday, June 2nd, 5:00 PM MT
Where: Yurcak Field — Piscataway, NJ
Weather: Thunderstorms, 70 degrees
Broadcast: KMYU (TV), go90, KSL App (Streaming), ESPN 700 (Radio)
Referee: Lorant Varga