Riding high on the good feelings of a big win over Sky Blue FC last week, Utah Royals FC take a second trip to Portland to face the Thorns. Things are a little different this time around, so let’s look at how this one shapes up.
Riding the high
When things are working well, you have to keep them going. Momentum is always a big factor in how a team plays, and the Royals can seize the last two matches as positives and use them as motivation in Portland. The Thorns have one win and two draws in their last five, while the Royals have three wins in theirs, and Portland still only has two wins at home. One of those came at our expense, so we’re due for a first road win in their place.
The first of two road matches in a row; this one is followed by a visit to Seattle midweek. URFC sits a point above Portland in the standings and could push back into a playoff spot with a win. A draw is acceptable, especially facing a big crowd in a tough place to play, but three points would make a big mark on the rest of this season.
Limiting the damage
It will be interesting to see how Utah’s improved attack changes things from the first two games between these teams. In the last two matches, opposing offenses have been limited by the Royals ability to hold on to possession better, and the increased danger of counter attacking play. The Thorns will have to play things differently this time, and hopefully it helps keep their offense from overloading the URFC defense. If the visitors can control the game for 90 minutes, there’s a good chance they walk out with the full points.
When: Friday, July 6th, 9:00 PM MT
Where: Providence Park, Portland, OR
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 74 degrees
Broadcast: KMYU, KSL (app), go90, ESPN 700 (radio)
Referee: Farhad Dadkho