The Utah Royals are back at Rio Tinto Stadium Friday night to face Seattle, here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. Utah Royals played to a 0-0 draw in Portland last Friday night. With 4 shots on goal, to Thorns’ three, and 56% possession the Royals just couldn’t find the back of the net. Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart and defender Sam Johnson kept Utah in the match with crucial saves and blocks. With the draw, Utah sits in second place in the NWSL with a record of 5-2-2 and 17 points. Amy Rodriguez continues to lead the team with 5 goals. Nicole Barnhart has 23 saves and 6 clean sheets on the season.
2. Friday’s match will be the first of three between Utah and Seattle this season and the only match between these clubs at RioT in 2019. Utah Royals are 0-2-1 against Seattle all-time and haven’t registered a goal against the Reign yet. Seattle joins Portland as the only two teams Utah has yet to beat in NWSL play. Utah has a home record of 4-1-0 in 2019, the loss on May 11 against Houston Dash. The Royals have outscored their opponents 6-2 at home this season. The Royals are still missing Kelley O’Hara (USA), Becky Sauerbrunn (USA), and Christen Press (USA) to the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. Desiree Scott (Canada), Katie Bowen (New Zealand) and Rachel Corsie’s (Scotland) time in France has come to end but they will not be available to Friday’s match. Utah Royals head coach Laura Harvey was Seattle’s first-ever head coach and guided the club to two NWSL Shields in five seasons.
3. Seattle Reign sits in 4th in the NWSL with a record of 3-1-5 and 14 points. On the road, Seattle has a record 1-1-2 and have been outscored by their opponents 4-2. The Reign are coming off a 1-0 win at Chicago Red Stars, their first road win of the season. The win last weekend extended their unbeaten streak to 6 matches. Bethany Balcer leads Seattle with three goals this season while Jessica Fishlock scored her second of the season at Chicago last week. Jodie Taylor (England), Allie Long (USA) and Megan Rapino (USA) are still participating in the World Cup while Steph Catley (Australia), Elise Kellond-Knight (Australia), Rumi Utsugi (Japan), and Celia Jiménez Delgado’s (Spain) teams have been eliminated from the competition.
Our coverage of Utah Royals vs Seattle Reign begins on Friday, June 28 at 8 PM.
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