Utah Royals FC enters its third week of preseason in Southern California, with its first game against Long Beach University tomorrow. With the full roster back, the team focuses on building off the 2018 season and taking advantage of playing an opponent other than themselves.
“The only way you get better as a team, is the more you play. So it will be good to play Long Beach tomorrow and then play again on Saturday,” said FW Brittany Ratcliffe.
The two preseason games this week are essential building blocks for the NWSL regular season. Both matches provide the opportunity to discover what the team is good at, and what still needs to improve before the start of the season.
“For me, I don’t want us to be amazingly good at this moment in time. I want that to start towards the back-end of April, when we need it to,” said Head Coach Laura Harvey. “What things we are good at right now, what things we need to be better at, and what do we need to keep pushing on – I think if we can get those answered out in these next two games, that will be a bonus.”
Finding partnerships and developing chemistry within the team is another focal point for preseason games. With seven players expected to depart for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, expanding connections across the roster is vital.
“Partnerships are a huge part of our chemistry. I think who works well with who, is something we have been talking about a lot,” said Harvey. “Trying to look at that in terms of what we want to get out of the first two games – when we have everybody here, and what that looks like obviously when the season progresses when people disappear for the World Cup.”
URFC will kick-off its first preseason game at 8:00pm MT tomorrow, against Long Beach University at George Allen Field.