The Utah Royals are back on the road for two consecutive matches, first up is Sky Blue FC. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. Utah is coming off a tough 1-0 loss against the Seattle Reign last Saturday, which ended their three-match unbeaten streak. The Royals held off the Reign in the first half but couldn’t keep Seattle from capitalizing on a set piece early in the second half.
The loss brought Utah’s home record to 4-3-4.
2. It’s do-or-die time for the Royals as just three matches remain in the regular season. Sitting two spots out of the playoffs in 6th place with 28 points, Utah hopes to win-out and claim a spot in the NWSL Playoffs in their inaugural season. In their remaining matches, Utah will face only one opponent above them in the standings, Chicago, while Chicago (5th place) will face Orlando (4th place) and Orlando will face North Carolina (1st place). While the Red Stars and Orlando are tied on points at 30, Chicago has a game in hand on Orlando and Utah, which could be the difference between these three teams. Three points on Saturday will be crucial to keeping Utah’s playoff hopes alive.
Utah has beaten Sky Blue FC twice this season, 2-1 at Sky Blue and 3-1 at Rio Tinto Stadium, a match that saw Christen Press make her debut and score her first goal for URFC.
3. Sky Blue FC remain winless in 2018 with a record of 0-14-4. Savannah McCaskill leads the team with 3 goals and 3 assists, Imani Dorsey has 3 goals and 1 assist, and Carli Lloyd has 3 goals and 1 assist. In their last match, Sky Blue gave up an early goal to Houston but was able to draw the match briefly in the 64th minute before Rachel Daly scored her second of the night in the 73rd, giving Houston the 2-1 win.
Utah Royals at Sky Blue FC kicks off on Saturday, August 18th at 4:30 P.M. on rsl.com.