With Utah Royals pre-season right around the corner, the 2019 schedule has finally been announced.
The Royals will start and end the season at Rio Tinto Stadium, hosting the Washington Spirit on April 20th and the Houston Dash on October 12th. Like last year, they will play their first road match at Orlando Pride on April 27. They will have just one 2-match home-stand, May 3 and May 11, and one 3-match road trip, August 11-21. The Royals will face each team three times in the regular season, with two home and one away against Houston Dash, North Carolina Courage, Portland Thorns, and Sky Blue and two away and one home against Washington Spirit, Orlando Pride, Chicago Red Stars, and Seattle Reign.
The Royals took 5th place in their inaugural season, just one spot short of the playoffs, and boasted the second-highest average attendance in NWSL at 9,466 as well as 19,203 at the home opener on April 14. Defender Becky Sauerbrunn earned NWSL Best XI honors at the end of the season.
In the off-season, Royals players have been working hard playing in Australia or with their national teams. The U.S. and Canada women qualified for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, taking place June 7-July 7. Kelley O’Hara, who underwent ankle surgery in late October, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Christen Press were all regulars throughout the U.S. qualifying campaign and are currently with the team for the 2019 She Believes Cup where the U.S. will face Japan on Feb. 27, England on March 2, and Brazil on March 5.
— NWSL (@NWSL) October 7, 2018
The Royals also announced the signing of midfielder Veronica Boquete in early January. The Spaniard will join the Royals from Beijing BG Phoenix. This will be Vero’s fourth time playing in the U.S., having previously played for the Chicago Red Stars (2010), Philadelphia Independence (2011-12), and the Portland Thorns (2014).
Utah also picked up three players in the 2019 NWSL Draft: forward Michelle Maemone from Pepperdine University, defender Madeline Nolf from Penn State University, and forward Alex Kimball from the University of North Carolina.
The 2019 schedule announcement comes just one day after the NWSL announced the end of it’s partnership with A&E Networks, effective immediately, with one year remaining on their contract. The 2019 regular season matches will be streamed on Yahoo!Sports in the U.S. and NWSLSoccer.com internationally.
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