As the inaugural season for our brand new Utah Royals FC comes to a close, we decided to take a look back at the 2018 season.
November 16, 2017 : We got our team
It was on this day that we woke up and checked our phones to see that Dell Loy Hansen had officially brought a NWSL team to Utah. Shortly after, we obtained the rights of the FCKC players. Then on December 1, 2017, the logo was revealed, along with all the social media accounts, and we were all super giddy.
March 24, 2018: Gunny scores the first ever goal for URFC
For three months, we witnessed player signings and jersey reveals, but finally, it was match day. We started off our history in Orlando, and just 3 minutes in, Gunny Jónsdóttir scored the first goal in franchise history. It was an insane moment for all URFC fans. We had barely been a team, but here we were, up a goal in Orlando. Unfortunately, thanks to a not-so-correct PK called on Becky Sauerbrunn, we did tie that game, but everyone was still buzzing.
April 14, 2018: The historic home opener
This day had been four months in the making. We wanted to do something epic for our brand new team in Utah, and we did. 19,203 fans packed Rio Tinto Stadium and cheered on URFC that day. Although that game ended in a 1-0 loss versus Chicago, the memories of a completely gold RioT are still in the hearts of all Royals fans.
A look back at our historic home opener. pic.twitter.com/42pYRC80za— Utah Royals FC (@UtahRoyalsFC) July 23, 2018
April 28, 2014: First-ever home goal for URFC
It was on this day versus the Portland Thorns that the fans in Utah would get to celebrate the first-ever URFC home goal. Amy Rodriguez scored in a 1-1 draw versus the Portland Thorns. It was incredible to witness Rodriguez score a goal after making her comeback from an ACL injury that sidelined her for the 2017 season.
May 5, 2018: The first viking clap
We had waited for this moment for so long. Utah Royals had a bit of a rough start to their inaugural season, but finally on this day, we got a huge 2-0 win versus the Washington Spirit. Following the game, our favorite Icelandic midfielder, Gunny Jónsdóttir, led our supporters group The Court of Royals in the first Salt Lake viking clap. It was a beautiful moment to see all of us celebrate together.
June 16, 2018: THAT Brittany Ratcliffe goal and win over the Courage
The North Carolina Courage were undefeated up until this point. Brittany Ratcliffe and the Utah Royals wanted nothing more than to destroy the Courage’s perfect season. On a beautiful goal in the dying moments of this one, we did just that. This was the only loss the Courage experienced in the 2018 regular NWSL season.
June 18, 2018: Press is set for Utah
With this team already being adorned by the likes of Amy Rodriguez, Kelley Ohara, Becky Sauerbunn and more, to hear that URFC was getting Christen Press was unbelievable. It was looking like Utah was basically going to be the ultimate hub for international soccer players. So, after trading Brooke Elby and 6 draft picks to Chicago, Christen Press and Samantha Johnson were coming to Salt Lake City. Press played her first minutes for URFC on June 27 vs Seattle Reign FC. Press ended up scoring her first goal for Utah on June 30 vs Sky Blue FC.
June 30, 2018: A brace for Stengel
URFC was playing Sky Blue FC and knew we had to dominate. Katie Stengel basically took that as a challenge and had arguably her best game as a Utah Royal. She scored two goals, had an epic goal celebration, and got a W for URFC. This was the first three-goal game for Utah. This was also the day Christen Press scored her first goal for Utah.
September 6, 2018: The first-ever URFC Season Ticket Holder Meet the Team night
As an added perk of being a super cool person who buys season tickets, the team put on an event to meet the team. It was so much for fans to get to meet the players they cheer on every week, and the players seemed to enjoy getting to meet the fans as well.
September 8, 2018: We say goodbye... for now!
In our last game of the season, we celebrated with a 2-1 win over the Chicago Red Stars where Katie Stengel and Amy Rodriguez scored. For fans, it was a memorable day as URFC was able to get a win over the team that knocked that fourth playoff spot out of our hands. And as usual after every win, we took part in the viking clap again.
Our inaugural season was one for the history books. URFC finished the season in 5th place in the NWSL with 35 points. Now, we wait until March!