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Gotta finish strong: Utah Royals FC vs Chicago Red Stars

URFC take on the Red Stars in their final game of 2018.

Roscoe Myrick

This afternoon, and for the final time in the 2018 season, Utah Royals FC will take the pitch against the Chicago Red Stars. Their first season has been full of ups and downs, which is to be expected from an expansion team, but a solid base has been built, and I believe we will see great things from the team in the future. But you didn’t come here for my take on the team and the season. You came to read about what we might see on the pitch today, so let’s dive into it!

Utah Royals FC

After a two-week international break that saw several Royals players performing well for their respective national teams, URFC come together one last time to celebrate the 2018 season at the RioT. Having been officially eliminated from playoff contention already, the Royals will be free of any pressure they might have faced and will be able to just come out and have fun playing soccer, in an attempt to put on a show for their loyal fans.

Tactically, I think we will see a lot of what we have seen recently from URFC. My guess is that they will come out in a 4-2-3-1 formation and will look to play possession-based attacking soccer. One thing that I am really looking forward to seeing is how Kelley O’Hara and Christen Press are able to work together and play together in the attack. If anything, today’s game will be a good preview of what we might expect to see from a healthy Utah Royals team in 2019.

Chicago Red Stars

For Chicago, who succeeded in claiming this year’s final playoff spot, this game will be one of two things: either a final tune-up with their expected starting 11, or a throwaway game in which we will see a mostly secondary team. With their playoff game being scheduled eight days from today, my guess is that we will see a strong starting 11 from Chicago looking to build confidence as they head into the playoffs.

Expected Lineup

GK: Barnhart

DF: Bowen, Corsie, Sauerbrunn, Moros

MF: Jonsdottir, Scott

MF: O’Hara, Stengel, Press

ST: Rodriguez

Royals’ keys to the match

  1. Have fun and show what you can do. The Royals just need to come out and put on a show for their fans.
  2. Build into 2019. If the Royals can use this match as a base for their launch into next season, we should hope to see great things from them in 2019.