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Match Preview: Utah Royals @ North Carolina Courage

Second trip to Cary, NC sees return of international roster as URFC looks to be first to beat the Courage this season.

Lucas Muller - RSL Soapbox

They’re back!

After the midseason break for FIFA play wrapped up, with plenty of great success for many of the nine Utah Royals FC players involved, the team gets back together for a second visit to North Carolina to face the Courage.

Time to rise up

When the team finishes the last two games of this month spent away from home, they’ll have played half their matches for the season. A solid defense and some timely goals have gotten the Royals this far with 14 points, which is only four behind Seattle for second. If a push to claim one of the four playoff spots is going to happen, it needs to start now by getting at least the one road point that Laura Harvey always says a team needs to make the playoffs.

Finding the offense

Goal scoring is a problem for this team. Only one team, Sky Blue FC, has scored fewer goals than URFC this season. Diana Matheson became the first player to score more than one with her opening strike in the last match.

Defense does wonders to help win games, but goals are a necessity, and when the league leaders are scoring in big numbers, it’s critical that the team find the back of the net this weekend. One or two players need to step up big in the attack this week and make an impact on the offense.

The long road

Though much of the team got a bit of a break while the internationals were away, they still have to come back together and then travel for the next two weeks. They aren’t going to be easy trips, with long flights and tough opponents between them and their next games at home.

They’ll need the best effort from the opening whistle to stay organized and limit the chances the Courage have to score. Though a draw may be a perfectly acceptable result here, the first meeting between the two clubs was headed towards a Royals victory before a late mishap prevented the visitors from claiming the full three points. It’s there for the taking this time.

Match details

When: Saturday, June 16th, 5:00 PM MT

Where: Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park — Cary, NC

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 80 degrees

Broadcast: KMYU, KSL (app), go90, 100.7 FM

Referee: Jasmine Peralta