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Match Preview: Utah Royals FC @ Houston Dash

Golden Lionesses look to begin playoff push with strong result in final visit to Houston this season.

Nikita Taparia

The players are rested and ready, and the final push towards the playoffs begins. It’s a critical stretch that starts in a tough place to play, and every point earned is critical to the postseason chances for Utah Royals FC.

The game in front of you

Though it may be easy to analyze the full stretch of six remaining games, the important thing is to take it one match at a time. Houston is the target this week, and is the team immediately ahead of URFC in the standings. Get a win on Sunday, and the Royals move into sixth place and can then move on to advancing further up the table.

Finding consistency

Though injuries and what happens in practice can sometimes force Laura Harvey’s hand in choosing her starting eleven, the team needs to find its core group of starters and let them run the season out. On that same note, the players themselves need to step up and own their play for a full match, showing the form we know they are capable of when they are passing well, and generating meaningful scoring chances.

Limit your opponent

Though Houston has had a mixed set of results recently, alternating wins and losses over their last five matches, they have beaten Orlando twice in that stretch. Key players like Kealia Ohai and Rachel Daly continue to be important parts of their attack, and the Royals defense will have to stay organized. If Abby Smith is able to play, the lessons from previous games will have to stick, using her skills in goal where they belong and letting Becky Sauerbrunn and NWSL August Team of the Month defender Rachel Corsie protect her from dangerous shots.

Match details

When: Sunday, August 6th, 8:30 PM MT

Where: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 90 degrees

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

Referee: Rosendo Mendoza