It’s the second edition of The Royal Watch, a weekly update to key moments, news, events, and happenings surrounding Utah Royals FC.
There was a time when Utah Royals FC were being counted out of the playoffs. Remember when they lost to Portland, Seattle, and Orlando, that three-game losing streak? Yea...that. But then, they bounced back from that setback, tying North Carolina (becoming the only team not to lose to the Courage this season. Yeaaa!) and picking up another two key wins against Houston (a comeback!) and Washington. Suddenly, they were back in it.
Then, Seattle Reign FC came to town last week and ruined the fun in a 1-0 loss. To be fair, it was the third game in seven days; it was 90+ degrees; the air quality due to a blaze in southern Utah County was not the greatest. Fatigue eventually set in, and the team did not have a great game.
The Royals are again being counted out, and the doubters and the haters all have had their say. Listen. It ain’t over till it’s over, and the Royals are still very much in contention.
If you don’t believe me, let’s take a look at the current NWSL standings.
Utah is only two points from 4th place, and that’s thanks to Seattle and Chicago ending their game in a draw last night. So, there’s a chance, but Utah now has to do their part and win their next three games and hope that Orlando keeps having bad games and Chicago and Portland do, too.
Kelley O’Hara is a great human
She’s yet to return from that right hamstring strain injury that has sidelined her since mid-May, but yesterday, Kelley O’Hara was featured on The Players’ Tribune for her time with the Goals for Girls Summit, hosted by the RSL Foundation in July at the Zions Bank Real Academy.
O’Hara talks about her mission to fight for gender equality and to empower young women to make a positive impact on and off the field.
- Speaking of Kelley O’Hara...she could return for upcoming games in the east coast. Laura Harvey said last week that she was hoping O’Hara would make the trip, and Kelley did travel with the Royals today. O’Hara could very well play against her former club, Sky Blue FC. If not, in Washington, against the Spirit, could be a possibility, too.
- There’s one home game left! September 8th is the date as Chicago again returns to the RioT. This could very well be the deciding game for both teams. Last time Chicago was in town, 19,000+ showed up. Perhaps it’s time that happens again. Rio Tinto has seen a few empty seats since then. Come on, Utah! Show up!
- Looks like Elise Thorsnes’ time with Utah Royals FC is done. Though there was no official word from the club, the players were pretty public about her departure on their social media accounts, and that’s how we, at RSL Soapbox, discovered the news. Whether this is temporary or long-term, we don’t know, but Thorsnes just quite did not have a good season. She was injured often and rarely made an impact in her time on the field.