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Match Preview: Utah Royals FC vs Sky Blue FC

The New Jersey club makes its only appearance in Utah this season as URFC looks to generate momentum.

Lucas Muller - RSL Soapbox

The second half of the 2018 season rolls on with a second match this week. Sky Blue FC make the trip to Utah this Saturday, so we’re looking at a few things to watch for in this match.

Looking better

With Christen Press in the lineup, and playing an impressive full ninety minutes in her first URFC match, the Royals fired 18 shots against Seattle on Wednesday. That’s one of the highest shot totals of the season, and while that doesn’t always mean you’re taking the best shots, it’s connected to the high number of passes made by the team, and the fact that they controlled a large percentage of the possession. It was a better look for an attacking group that hasn’t had a lot of punch this season, and a good sign if it becomes a trend that can help them control games.

Defend your home

Despite having what should be one of the most difficult stadiums to play in, the Royals home record so far stands at 2-1-3, which isn’t nearly good enough. Playing a team like SBFC, which still does not have a win this season. The Royals have only allowed 10 goals so far this season, which is best in the league, and three teams ahead of them in the standings are near to conceding their 20th of the year. With only one more goal scored than Sky Blue, however, the team is behind where it probably should be. That has to change going forward, especially in Utah where they should be able to outrun any opponent over a full match.

Growing pains

A big part of the path ahead comes from how well the team adjusts to having a player like Press on the team. She’s a unique type of forward that the team hasn’t really had to this point, and there’s an adjustment that needs to be made to fully take advantage of her skill set. Wednesday was a good start, but the sharpness needs to improve before this team becomes truly dangerous. A team without a win who is also playing their second match in four days away from home is a good place to put the pieces together.

Match details

When: Saturday, June 30th, 8:00 PM MT

Where: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT

Weather: Sunny, 75 degrees

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

Referee: Karen Abt