Storylines | Royals FC vs. Sky Blue FC

Under Pressure

Saturday’s match will be the first time Utah Royals FC have been opponents since Amy Rodriguez scored a stoppage-time stunner to rob Sky Blue FC of their first win of the 2018 season. New Jersey entered the match on a record-setting 18-game winless streak and after 90 minutes and two goals from former Sky Blue forward Katie Johnson it looked as if that streak may have finally been snapped with a 2-1 victory. But, with the seconds dwindling down, a miscommunication in the box led to Christen Press passing the ball to Rodriguez at the top of the box who proceeded to fire the ball into the back of the net to earn a hard fought point on the road, the match ended seconds later, stealing their chance a victory.

You’re My Best Friend

From 2012 to 2015 Utah Royals FC FW Mallory Weber attended Pennsylvania State University where she was teammates for all four years with Sky Blue FC forward Raquel “Rocky” Rodriguez. In four years Weber recorded 36 goals in 100 appearances and Rodriguez tallied 23 goals in 93 appearances. In 2015 the duo was named co-captains of the Nittany Lions and led their team to the school’s first-ever NCAA College Cup Championship. URFC Supplemental DF Madeline Nolf also attended Penn State from 2014-2018 and was part of the championship squad in 2015, alongside Weber and Rodriguez.

We Will Rock You
After last game’s loss to the Washington Spirit, Sky Blue FC remain one of only two teams that Utah Royals FC have never suffered a loss too, the other being North Carolina Courage. Last season Royals FC finished with a 2-0-1 record over the team from New Jersey. In three matches Utah has scored seven goals in run of play from Dianna Matheson, Christen Press, Amy Rodriguez and two from Kate Stengel, the other two goals were accredited as own goals from Sky Blue.

Don’t Stop Them Now

Utah Royals FC MF Gunny Jonsdottir currently has the third-most aerials in the entire National Women’s Soccer League with 48. Sky Blue FC midfielder Julie James is right above her with 59, while Portland Thorns FC midfielder Dagný Brynjarsdóttir leads the way. In addition, FW Amy Rodriguez has the fourth-most shots taken in the league with 22.

Another One Bites the Dust

Just this week Sky Blue FC acquired forward Elizabeth Eddy from the North Carolina Courage in exchange for forward McKenzie Meehan. Eddy attended the University of Southern California where she played soccer alongside Utah Royals FC DF Sam Johnson. While with the Western New York Flash Eddy made 35 appearances and scored three goals and in two seasons with the Courage she recorded one goal in 10 appearances.

Killer Queens

Sky Blue FC midfielder Naho Kawasumi is intimately familiar with the coaching style of Utah Royals FC Head Coach Laura Harvey, as she played three seasons with Seattle Reign FC under her leadership. Kawasumi was part of the squad that won the 2014 NWSL Shield and in doing so the Japanese international scored nine goals and recorded five assists in just 20 appearances, leading to her being elected to the NWSL Best Ⅺ. Royals FC DF Rachel Corsie also played alongside Kawasumi during her time in Seattle.