Welcome one and all to the Utah Royals FC’s 2019 season.
As the official Chief Herald here at RSL Soapbox for Utah Royals FC, I will present to you each week my thoughts on the team.
I will also be presenting who is up for The Most Noble Order of the Lioness as the best player of the week. After two nominations the player is officially granted the status as a Companion in the Order. Anyone winning six over the course of the season will become a Commander of the Order.
My goal is to touch upon thoughts and open the floor to all for a healthy debate around the Royals 2019 season.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Press being Press is good for Utah
Press doing as she pleases is good for URFC. The striker played pretty much wherever she watched from nearly back to where a holding midfielder would be to the tip of the attack. While at times she looked a bit like the roving forth outfielder on a Little League team, it did allow her to make decisions of where to be and what to do when she got there. Something that led to the one and only Utah goal.
When Press leaves for the World Cup there is going to be a hole to fill in terms of having someone who is willing and able to be everywhere. But while they have her it looks like Press is willing to be everywhere she needs to be.
Barnhart still has that it factor
Nicole Barnhart may only have had two saves in this game but she looked as solid as ever. Outside of a very odd pass back from Becky Sauerbrunn that she touched and went out, she looked like a player half her age. At 37 years old Barnhart is the oldest player in the league but if she can stay healthy and play well this is a great thing for the Royals going forward.
Abby Smith is more than an able backup as she sat this one on the bench. And while I do expect Smith to get some minutes this year, having Barnhart healthy for the Royals is a huge win.
If you build it, the fans will come
Having just a hair over 18,000 fans showing up for the home opener is wonderful. In just their first year in the NWSL the Royals found themselves as one of the top teams in attendance.
Time will tell if the attendance lifts from the 8,000 or so it was for most of 2018. But even if it stays it is a show of the support that nearly every other team in the league, and around the world, would love to have.
The Most Noble Order of the Lioness
And now for that most special time were we must speak of the nominations for The Most Noble Order of the Lioness.
This week the honor of nomination goes to Desiree Scott.
No single player had more of an impact on the match this evening than Scott. She was able to disrupt the Washington attack nearly every time they tried to head down the pitch. She was able to sit just at the top of the Washington box and bat away most incoming attacks before Washington knew what hit them.
Please join us April 27 as the Utah Royals FC take on the Orlando Pride. The last time the two squared off was all the way back on July 14, 2018. The Pride won 2-1.