Quote Sheet: URFC 0-2 RFC


Utah Royals FC 0-2 Reign FC 

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Friday, June 28, 2019


Utah Royals FC

Head Coach Laura Harvey


On the result of the game:

“We weren't good enough from minute one to minute 90. We were beaten by a better team. We were slow, lethargic and we didn't have any spark. I just said to the players, we have to work out why that is. In Portland, we were the complete opposite. The Reign played in Chicago on Sunday, traveled back to Seattle, traveled here, and we look like the team that's been that, not them. So, there's something not right. I just said to the players that we need their input on why that is because it's important we solve it and we solve it quickly. Tactics are pointless if you don't execute, and we didn't even get close to executing.”


On the feel of the game after the first goal:
“I'm very superstitious, get really involved in how the feeling is, I knew before the game. In the warm-up, pre-game, we just didn't have that spark about us, and from kickoff. I think we played out from the back a couple of times, gave away a goal and this game is a lot about mentality as much as it is about physicality and tactics and all that stuff. I think we often set the tone really well in games, doesn't matter if you score or not, but set the tone. We didn't, they did, and we never recovered from that.”


On the upcoming bye week:
“First things first, we need to have a breather this year. I said to this group before the game, they have dug in and worked really hard while the World Cup players have been away. I believe that the amount of work that they've put in deserved a performance tonight to show those World Cup players what they need to bring to come back into this team. Unfortunately, we didn't match that, but I also did say to the players after Portland, the standard that they set, from a mentality perspective, physicality perspective, our work rate and our attitude to defend in Portland, I was not going to let us drop below that without holding them accountable. Well, this week, we dropped way, way below that. We have to solve it, and we can't do that in Portland one week and then come here and show what we did tonight. So, I'm a very open, honest, want the players input on what that is. I'm a true believer of sports science but sometimes players react differently to that. I think we have to look at it because Portland's a one-off game. Orlando, we were like it, Sky Blue, we were like it, and Washington away, we were like it. Tonight we were like it. So we've had one in five where we've actually physically performed so there's something not right.”


On Vero’s status:
“She was close to this game. I think if this had been on Sunday, we probably had a chance of her being on the field. Obviously, if all goes well, and she reacts well to everything else over the next week or so, then there's a really good chance that she'll be available for the Sky Blue game. That's the plan -- she'll be available for the next game. I think obviously with Vero it's worked out really well, but we've got a break next week for her. One because of her injury, two, before we even signed on, we knew she was committed to go into the World Cup for the semis and the final. So, it's worked out pretty well that we don't have games next week. I think the players need a little break. I think she needs a little break. I think we need to refresh, refocus again, in preparation for a tough, tough stretch that we've got coming up in July and August.”


On Sam Johnson’s last game:

“This is Sam Johnson's last game. Sam and I had a conversation in preseason, where she decided that she wanted to look at something different than football. So, we went out to try and find a replacement for her in preseason. To give her a lot of credit, we just couldn't find someone of her caliber in such short notice. So, three weeks on from our first conversation, we sat down again, and she said, ‘I'm not going to leave this team in the lurch. I'm going to make sure that you have me until you don't need me.’ And we agreed on this game. So, the players have known for two months, maybe. We kept it pretty quiet, which was good until today. And I want to go on record to say that she didn't have to do that, she could have walked away because she wanted to. Mentally she felt like it was the right time, but she stuck with it, she stuck with us. I think she's been one of our most consistent players throughout this really tough period without our players. We want to thank her for that and we wish her all the best in whatever her next endeavor is, which I have no idea what she will do.”


Do you think Sam Johnson leaving impacted the team’s performance today?

“Not at all. I think if it was going to be anything to do with this being Sam's game, it would be the opposite. She's so popular in the locker room. They come in their business casual or whatever it is to the games and tonight it was come as Sam Johnson. She's someone that they admire, they appreciate what she's given to this team in this period. I thought it would it would be a spark for them but it just wasn't. Unfortunately, this is her last game and it ends like this because I think her career deserves more than that. She's been in this league since the first year and been phenomenal for Chicago and ourselves and I'm disappointed for her that this is her last game.”


On who is going to fill Johnson’s big shoes:

“Rachel, Becky. Those guys. She made it really clear to Gaby that her number one job was to get Gaby ready for when she left. I think she's done a pretty good job of that. I think her and Gaby have been very good in this period. So she leaves with Rachel and Becky coming back. I doubt we’ll have Becky back for the Sky Blue game, but Rachel is coming back. She leaves Gaby in a really good spot. I think Gaby has been excellent for us, so I’m pleased for her.”


On keeping Sam’s decision quiet:

“She actually didn't really want anyone to know. And then it sort of got to a point where I said, ‘I think we need to tell players because I think that they will appreciate it.’ So we did that. I think she handled it brilliantly. I think as a club, we handled it brilliantly. To keep it quiet. The club wanted to make a big deal out of it in pregame and she wouldn't let them because she didn't want it to be about her tonight. So that says a lot about her. I'm just disappointed for her that she goes out this way. I think she deserves more than that. But I'm also glad that we were able to do what we wanted to do for her in the right way.”


Midfielder Mandy Laddish


On the game:

“I think ultimately we weren’t good enough. We didn’t fight hard enough, we were spread out, we weren’t connecting passes well. It just wasn’t a good night for us.”


On what caused the performance: 

“Sometimes you come out and you just are flat, and I think that’s something that we addressed at halftime, and unfortunately I don’t think we fixed it as well as we’d like to. We needed to come in fighting and we knew we needed to win here and we just couldn’t get it done. At the beginning, when we weren’t connecting passes and they were getting through us at times, I think we got a little disheartened. It just didn’t work out for us.”


On Seattle’s physicality:

“I played for Vlatko [Andonovski] and he emphasizes being physical with teams because you can really get in people’s head, you can knock them off their game. I think we knew that Seattle would come in physical and they’d come in fighting. Vlatko, again, is a really good defensive coach and we knew they’d be organized and ready to fight for a win, and that’s what they did.” 


On finishing their chances for goals:

“I think there are a lot of things that go into that. I just think that we aren’t connecting as lines, I think we need to train it a little bit more and get used to one another. Sometimes it’s just bad luck. We just haven’t been on when we need to be on and it just hasn’t worked out for us.”


On what Sam Johnson means to the team:

“She’s a fighter. She comes in and she crunches and we love Sam Johnson. You always know that you’re going to get a tackle from her. She’s really hard to get by and she’s a last-minute tackler and it’s so hard, so defenders to take her on 1v1. I don’t ever want to go against her 1v1 in training. She’s someone that is a very strong centerback for us and we love her.”


Midfielder Gunny Jónsdóttir


On the game: 

“Lack of attitude, lack of effort. Just didn’t show up. But I can only speak for myself. I did give everything I had, but it wasn’t good enough. Simple as that. If we’re going to show up like that every week we can forget about the playoffs. 


On Seattle’s physicality:

“If we’re not ready to meet that, then we shouldn’t be playing in this league. We just need to get physical back. If they’re going to come hard on us, we’ve got to come back. We didn’t do that today and they come out winning. They were the better team today and we got to learn from that and step up our game if we want to be a part of this. As I said, I can only speak for myself and I need to do better.”


On how the upcoming bye week will help the team:

“We’re missing a lot of players, key players, but it doesn’t say we have great players that have been here the whole time. It’s been a lot of players that are new who are coming in, so I think it’s good to get a little vacation, a couple days off where you can just recharge your batteries, mentally and physically. It’s been a hard season so far and I think we all realize that today this is not how we want our season to be. We’re hungry for more and sometimes you need a little kick in the butt to realize you need to do better and that’s what happened today. I know this team and I know that we’re going to do so much better next game. This doesn’t happen often, but it does. It’s unacceptable, but it happens. We’re ready to step it up and show the fans and supporters and the staff and everyone around us who has worked their butts off that this is not who we are.”