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Match Preview: Utah Royals FC vs Seattle Reign FC

URFC goes for third win in a row against second place Seattle in first-ever RioT doubleheader.

Nikita Taparia

It’s getting good now! With two wins so far this week, Utah Royals FC are in a much better place to make the playoffs than they were just five days ago. They’ll need a big result against Seattle Reign FC this Saturday to keep it going, so here’s a preview of what we’re expecting.

Control your fate

It’s firmly in their own hands now. The Royals players have a clear path to moving into the top four in the NWSL standings by beating Seattle. It won’t be easy, as on paper this was one of the two hardest matches they had in their last six. Still, a win is possible if they come out ready to connect passes and create chances in front of goal. They’ll have to improve on the performances against Houston and Washington to threaten the Reign, but this team has to grab their moment if they want to play to the end of September.

Sharpening up

In the match against Washington, the Royals looked far from the team they are capable of being. Though they still managed 18 shots and 8 shots on goal, their passing numbers were half what they usually are, and their passing accuracy was down. A lot of that likely was due to the Spirit using five in the midfield, Katie Stengel playing as a midfielder much of the match, and Erika Tymrak not being the usual spark she is on the wing. Laura Harvey has to get the right players on the field in the right positions from the beginning for the team to have the best chance of winning.

RioT doubleheader

This is a fun moment for the RSL Family, with the afternoon match against Seattle being the first of two being played in Rio Tinto Stadium. It’s a big day for soccer in Utah as the two premier clubs in the state play at home on the same day for the first time. It would be fantastic to have big crowds for both matches, as both URFC and RSL are looking to solidify their positions for the playoffs.

Match details

When: Saturday, August 11th, 1:30 PM MT

Where: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, UT

Weather: Sunny, 90 degrees

Broadcast: Lifetime (TV), KSL (app), ESPN 700 (radio)

Referee: Eric Tattersall