After a recent dip in form, the Utah Royals are back at Rio Tinto Stadium to face Orlando Pride. Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match:
1. Utah has lost two consecutive matches, falling 4-0 in Portland and most recently 1-0 in Seattle. The Royals were without Becky Sauerbrunn (injury) and Diana Matheson (suspension) against the Reign on Wednesday, providing an opportunity for midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta and CBs Sam Johnson and Rachel Corsie.
Sauerbrunn will remain sidelined against the Pride alongside Sam Johnson, who is suspended for one-match after she received her 5th yellow card of the season. Diana Matheson will be available for Utah on Saturday after serving her one-match suspension in Seattle.
2. The loss in Seattle dropped Utah’s record to 5-5-6, leaving them in 6th place with 21 points, just 4 points out of a playoff position. The Royals are 3-1-3 at home on the season, where they most recently beat Sky Blue 3-1. Saturdays’ match will mark the third and final of the regular season between Utah and Orlando, the two previous matches playing to draws. Royals head coach Laura Harvey feels confident coming home, having caused problems for Orlando in the past:
3. The Orlando Pride currently sit in 3rd place with a record of 7-6-4 and 25 points but have won just two in their last five, both wins coming against 8th place Washington Spirit. With attacking players like Sydney Leroux (6 goals 2 assists), Alex Morgan (3 goals and 2 assists), Chioma Ubogagu (4 goals and 1 assist), and Rachel Hill (4 goals) it would be easy to forget that Marta (3 goals and 3 assists) will be absent versus Utah after she received a red card in Houston on Wednesday. Orlando is 4-3-2 on the road this season.
Our coverage of Utah Royals vs Orlando Pride begins on Saturday, July 14th at 5 P.M. with Greg Wrubell and Carla Swensen-Haslam on Rewind 100.7 FM.