When: Saturday, August 17 | 5:30 PM MT
Where: Exploria Stadium | Orlando, FL
Weather: 90 degrees, sunny
TV: ESPNews (U.S.)
Live Stream: Yahoo Sports app & KSL app
Radio: ESPN 700
Two-game winning streak. How’s everyone feeling about that? A couple of weeks ago, the future looked bleak, but after back-to-back wins, the hopes for reaching the playoffs are high. Utah Royals FC continue their three-game road stretch this week with a stop in Orlando, with a chance to add on another three points to keep them in contention for the post-season. It’s the last and final meeting between Orlando and Utah.
Utah vs. Orlando Pride 2019 meetings: 2
-April 27 @ Orlando.
Score: 1-0 Utah
-May 25 @ Rio Tinto Stadium
Score: 2-0 Utah
All-Time Series Record: 2-1-2
Utah Royals are climbing the standings
With a 3-0 win over Sky Blue FC and a 3-1 win against Reign FC, two consecutive games with three goals, Utah is now in fifth place, six points away from first place Portland Thorns FC and two from fourth place. They may not get to first place or second place, or they might, but Utah has narrowed the gap, and they are continuing to work their way into the top four to make the playoffs.
They’ll need to continue the winning streak, and this game vs. Orlando may just add another three points to their record. So far, Royals FC are undefeated against the Pride this season, with a 1-0 victory at Orlando’s home stadium back in April and a 2-0 win in May at Rio Tinto Stadium. URFC enters Saturday’s match with a 2-1-2 (8 points) all-time record against Orlando Pride.
Clean Sheets: 7
Goals Conceded: 15
Goals Conceded (per game): 0.9
Total Shots: 157
Shots on Target: 75
Goals Scored: 17
Leading scorers: Amy Rodriguez - 7 goals; Christen Press - 5 goals
Keys to winning:
- Continue creating chances. This is what the game of football is all about. Utah has a solid defense, but the struggle has always been the attacking third, and it’s all about creating chances, which is what Utah has done well in the last two games, and it has resulted in consecutive games winning with three goals scored.
- Give the ball to Christen Press. I say this often, and I’ll say it again. Press knows how to score goals. She has five goals goals in six games. But she’s also crafty on the ball and has the speed that can help her zoom by defenders if the ball is placed just right. But even more, if she has the ball, defenders will gravitate towards her and leave her teammates open for the perfect opportunity for a pass.
Utah Royals FC Injury Report
OUT: Brittany Ratcliffe (SEI-Left knee), Taylor Lytle (SEI-Left foot), Becca Moros (Right Leg), Kelley O’Hara (Left Ankle), Mandy Laddish (Concussion)
So...what’s been happening with the Orlando Pride?
Record: 3-10-2 (11 points, 8th place)
Head Coach: Marc Skinner
Clean Sheets: 1
Goals Conceded: 32
Goals Conceded (per game): 2.1
Total Shots: 127
Shots on Target: 49
Goals Scored: 16
Players to Watch: Marta - 4 goals; Chioma Ubogagu - 3 goals, 1 assist
Ashlyn Harris - 20 saves, 9 goals against, 1 clean sheet
Orland Pride are currently in eight place, but they have picked up two wins in the last four games with wins against Sky Blue FC and the Washington Spirit. As the season progressed, Marc Skinner’s team has slowly caught on his vision. The results may not prove that, but according to Scott Carnevale of the Mane Land, in our Three Questions, “the performances are better and better almost every week. The team has looked more comfortable in possession and has committed fewer turnovers that led to goals.”
The Pride will be without Marta and Julie King, who both picked up red cards in their last game in Houston. Alex Morgan may also be unavailable due to a knee injury. She has yet to play with Orlando since returning from the World Cup.
Orlando Pride Injury Report
OUT: Sydney Leroux (MAT), Toni Pressley (45-day DL), Emily van Egmond (Left Ankle Surgery), Marta (Suspension), Julie King (Suspension)
QUESTIONABLE: Alex Morgan (Right Knee)
This is a game that Utah should win, especially if they play how they have been the past two games. The Pride have allowed the most goals in the league at 32, so this could be another multi-game performance from URFC. Utah wins, 3-0.