Storylines | Royals FC vs. Washington Spirit

The Crocodile Rodriguez Was Out of Sight

For the past four Utah Royals FC matches the score sheets have all had one thing in common, the name FW Amy Rodriguez in the spot for goal scorer. In four-consecutive games Rodriguez has netted four out of five goals for Royals FC, tieing Crystal Dunn for the second-most goals this season, just two behind Sam Kerr who leads the league. Rodriguez’s four goals in four games is a feat that has only been reached by eight other players in the history of the league. Should she score against the Washington Spirit she will join and even more elite group of only six players to score five goals in five games. In the history of the league only one individual has scored in a consecutive six matches, that player, Kim Little, did so in 2014 under the leadership of current URFC Head Coach Laura Harvey.

Well Look at Her, She’s Coming Back Again

The last time Utah Royals FC and Washington Spirit faced each other MF Mandy Laddish recorded her first professional minutes in nearly two years. After suffering a hip injury Laddish missed the entirety of the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Since her return on April 20 she has made four appearances for Royals FC in the midfield, three of them starts.

Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Her

Last Saturday against the Orlando Pride GK Nicole Barnhart and Utah Royals FC recorded their fourth clean sheet of the season, the most among the league this year, just one ahead of Aubrey Bledsoe, goalkeeper for the Washington Spirit. These two goalkeepers also bolster the highest save percentages in the league with Bledsoe leading the way with 86.67 percent and Barnhart close behind with 83.33 percent. The squad also possess the least amount of goals allowed having only let in three goals through six matches, just one ahead of this weekend’s opponent the Washington Spirit. Last season the team did not record their fourth shutout until the eighth game of the season.

They Got Electric Boots and a Golden Suit

Saturday’s match against the Washington Spirit will pit the two top-ranked teams in the National Women’s Soccer League. Currently, both Royals FC and Spirit have produced a 4-1-1 record through six games to garner 13 points a piece. However, despite the tie in match records URFC has taken the first place spot in the standings due to their 1-0 victory over Washington in the season opener on April 20. Saturday’s winner will move into sole possession of first place.

And I Think It's Gonna Be a Long Long Time

Following Saturday’s match, Utah Royals FC and the National Women’s Soccer League will go on a break for the duration of the group stage at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Six members of Royals FC will be taking part in the tournament. DF Rachel Corsie (SCO) will be the first representative from Utah to appear on Sunday, June 9 against England. The next day MF Desiree Scott (CAN) will take on Cameroon with Canada. On Tuesday, June 11 DF Katie Bowen (NZL) will face the Netherlands and the trio of Americans, including DF Kelley O’Hara, FW Christen Press and DF Becky Sauerbrunn will begin their tournament against Thailand.