The Utah Royals are off to New Jersey to face Sky Blue FC for the first time, here’s what you need to know:
1. The Royals started off their four-match road trip with a 2-0 loss in Portland last Saturday. The loss was just URFC’s second of the season, the second time they conceded 2 or more goals, and the third time they’ve been held scoreless. Utah now sits in 7th place in the NWSL with a record of 2-2-5.
2. With a FIFA international break coming up, the Royals has an NWSL-high nine players called up to their respective national teams. Amy Rodriguez (USA), Becky Sauerbrunn (USA), Abby Smith (USA), Rachel Corsie (Scotland), Gunny Jonsdottir (Iceland), Katie Bowen (New Zealand), Elise Thorsnes (Norway), Desiree Scott (Canada), and Diana Matheson (Canada) will all miss out this weekend. The USWNT will play China at Rio Tinto Stadium on Thursday, June 7th. With Smith being called up, Utah signed their second-round draft pick EJ Proctor to fill in, Proctor played four seasons at Duke University.
Utah is still looking for their first road win after drawing 3 and losing 1 on the season. The Royals have scored 3 goals and conceded 5 in their 4 road matches so far. All 7 of Utah’s goals this season have been scored by different players and of those 7 players, 3 have been called up (Gunny, Rodriguez, and Matheson). Utah Royals players Taylor Lytle and Kelley O’Hara were acquired from Sky Blue in December.
URFC head Coach Laura Harvey says they need to be more cautious defensively this weekend:
3. Sky Blue FC has yet to win a match this season and sit in last place in the NWSL with a record of 0-7-1. But this match will get even more difficult for them with Carli Lloyd and Savannah McCaskill getting called up to the U.S. Women’s National Team. Sky Blue has the worst goal differential in the league at -9, conceding 7 of 14 goals this season at home. Katie Johnson and McCaskill lead Sky Blue with two goals each this season. Sky Blue’s most recent match was a 1-0 loss to Seattle Reign, who sit in 2nd in the NWSL.
Our coverage of Utah Royals FC at Sky Blue FC begins on Saturday, June 2nd at 5 PM with Greg Wrubell and Carla Haslam on our sister-station Rewind 100.7 FM.