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Utah Royals FC miss the playoffs

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Chicago Red Stars end Utah’s hopes for the playoffs with their 5-0 win over Sky Blue FC.

Cindy Lara - RSL Soapbox

In a game with playoff implications, Utah Royals FC’s post-season hopes ended in Chicago tonight.

Yup, you read that right. Even though Utah Royals FC did not have a game tonight, the matchup between Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC determined the Royals’ playoff hopes.

All the Red Stars needed to do was win or draw, and win they did. It wasn’t even a contest as they scored five goals against a Sky Blue FC team who just two days ago played at Washington Spirit.

Unfair? Yea, it didn’t seem right to have Sky Blue play another away game on two days’ rest, but with severe weather impacting last Saturday’s game against the Spirit, rescheduling to 10 AM on Sunday seemed like the best option.

However, we can’t put the blame on Sky Blue FC for the Royals missing the playoffs. Sure, a Sky Blue FC win tonight would have given the Royals a chance, the kind that makes for better headlines for Saturday’s game when Chicago comes to town:

UTAH ROYALS FC vs. CHICAGO RED STARS: WINNER CLINCHES FINAL PLAYOFF SPOT!

Alas, it is not the case. Instead, I write this sad post about the Royals’ hopes crushed at Toyota Park, thanks to a brace from Alyssa Mautz, another goal by Sam Kerr, and the seal-the-deal one from Rosie White. Oh, wait...there was a fifth one in stoppage that I missed while writing this. Thanks, Michele Vasconcelos.

So, why did the Royals miss the playoffs?

Well, simply, too many games they should have won...like the one against Sky Blue FC on August 18. That’s the one that keeps me up at night. That was the game Utah should have won instead of leaving New Jersey with just one point, and I bet Laura Harvey and the rest of the squad wish they could play that game again.

A win then would have had them in better position going into Saturday’s final regular season game at the RioT. The Beautiful Game can be so unfair sometimes and leave fanbases asking, “What if...?”

What if, indeed.

Utah Royals FC wrap up the 2018 season against Chicago Red Stars at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday. Game is scheduled for 1:30 PM.

Don’t give up on the team just yet, though. If 2018 had you falling for the team, 2019 will be wild! I believe it!

So, go to the RioT on Saturday and support the Royals for one more game this season.