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Goin’ to Jersey: Utah Royals FC @ Sky Blue FC match preview

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After a bye week, Utah Royals FC heads east for a Friday night matchup in New Jersey vs. Sky Blue FC

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Match Details

Utah Royals FC (5-3-2) @ Sky Blue FC (1-7-2)

When: Friday, July 12, 2019 | 5:30 PM MT

Where: Yurcak Field | Piscataway, NJ

Weather: 83 degrees, sunny

Live Stream: KSL TV app, Yahoo Sports app

Radio: ESPN 700

Alright. It’s back to NWSL business. I know the hype since Sunday has been the U.S. National Team winning the World Cup. And rightly so! It’s the fourth World Cup title for the USWNT. Now that the World Cup is over, remember that all those players on the national team roster play in the NWSL, three of them for our very own Utah Royals FC. I’m talking about Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara, and Christen Press.

But there’s an NWSL season still happening, and by next week, these three Royals FC players should return to Utah. And for Utah Royals FC this week, it’s a road trip as they head east to face Sky Blue FC.

All about Sky Blue FC

Record: 1-7-2 (5 points, 9th place)
Head Coach: Vacant
Clean Sheets: 1
Goals Conceded: 15
Goals per game: 1.5
Total Shots: 93
Shots on Target: 32

Players to Watch: Sarah Killion - 1 goal, 1 assist; Raquel Rodriguez - 3 goals, 1 assist; Kailen Sheridan - 26 saves, 6 goals against, 1 clean sheet

Well, the last time Utah faced Sky Blue, the New Jersey-based club was near the bottom of the league, one place behind Orlando Pride. A month later, it is now Sky Blue who holds that last place position. Since then, Sky Blue fired their coach Denise Reddy, who had a 1-17-6 record in her first season with the team and had yet to win a game this season. The firing led to Sky Blue’s first win of the season against Chicago Red Stars last week, which is a pretty big win, and they’ll try for win number two vs. URFC. For now, SBFC will be coached by its remaining assistant coaches.

For more on Sky Blue, you can check out our Three Questions with Once A Metro.

Sky Blue FC Injury Report

OUT: Mandy Freeman (Right achilles tendon repair), Madison Tiernan (Left ACL/MCL sprain), Domi Richardson (Left ankle)

QUESTIONABLE: None

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Carli Lloyd (USA)

For Utah, gotta keep on goin’

Last time we saw URFC, it was in a 2-0 loss to Reign FC. In true supporters fashion, we all panicked a little. But panic not, dear URFC fans. Yes, the 2-0 loss stung, and Royals FC struggled as we began to see the impact of a roster missing seven key players at the World Cup plus playing without Vero Boquete. Thankfully, the World Cup is over. Rachel Corsie, Desiree Scott, and Katie Bowen have returned and should be available to make the line up tonight, and their presence is greatly needed at this point in the season, which means staying in contention for the playoffs that are three months away. It’s a must-win tonight.

URFC Stats

Clean Sheets: 6
Goals Conceded: 7
Goals Allowed Per Game: 0.7
Total Shots: 84
Shots on Target: 40
Goals Scored: 9

Keys to winning:

  • Vero & A-Rod gotta connect. Amy Rodriguez is Utah’s leading scorer with five goals in eight games, but she’s had a quiet couple of games. Much of that probably had to do with Vero Boquete sidelined with an ankle injury. But Boquete is healthy again, and she will be a tremendous help to A-Rod’s scoring chances.
  • Backline strength. Corsie & Bowen are back, strengthening that backline that showed some weariness against Reign FC.

Prediction: Utah Royals FC win, 2-0

Utah Royals FC Injury Report

OUT: Brittany Ratcliffe (SEI-Left knee), Maddie Nolf (Left hip), Taylor Lytle (SEI-Left foot), Raisa Strom- Okimoto (Ankle)

QUESTIONABLE: None

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Becky Sauerbrunn (USA), Kelley O’Hara (USA), Christen Press (USA)