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Match Preview: Utah Royals @ Chicago Red Stars

URFC looks for third straight road win as they make their first visit to Illinois.

Roscoe Myrick

This has been a pretty fun month.

Two big road wins in a row have the team riding high, and now the sights turn to Chicago Red Stars for a chance to come home in style. There’s a lot to consider as the players look for a measure of revenge against the team that spoiled their home opener in April.

Bring it home

The thought of an entire month without a home game was rather daunting when it came up on the schedule. Though the team went into it on a bit of a high note, the loss in Portland gave us a dose of reality that was a bit of a shock.

Following up with two good wins earned through hard effort and a little luck has been satisfying and has the team playing with confidence. There’s a great chance to keep the string of results going with another quality performance this weekend.

Facing changes

The big news, of course, has been the trade that is bringing Christen Press and Samantha Johnson to Utah. The details of the trade included a provision that says neither new player will be available for this match; they will both be spending time at the Real Salt Lake match meeting their new fans. The team will also be without Brooke Elby, who may be available to play for her new team depending on what her decision is. They’ll have to rely on a bit of their depth to put out a strong performance.

Familiar, yet different

Chicago is dealing with their own changes as well. The team is very different from the one that stole a win at Rio Tinto Stadium nearly three months ago, with Sam Kerr and Julie Ertz returning to play, and Sofia Huerta and Taylor Comeau moving to Houston, as well as the aforementioned trade of Johnson to Utah. They’re still a talented and dangerous team, despite only having one of their three wins so far this season come while playing at home. As with any match in this league, either team can find the right circumstances to get a win. With an eye towards returning home and adding a high-level international player, the Royals can hopefully start building the push towards the playoffs with another win.

Match details

When: Saturday, June 23rd, 6:00 PM MT

Where: Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 70 degrees

Broadcast: KMYU, KSL (app), go90, ESPN 700 (radio)

Referee: Natalie Simon