Storylines | Royals FC vs. Portland Thorns

You Gotta Get With My Friends

Friday’s match marks the first with the return of Kelley O’HaraChristen Press and Becky Sauerbrunn fresh off their victory at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. It will also be the first home match since the return of Katie Bowen (NZL), Rachel Corsie (SCO) and Desiree Scott (CAN) from their time in France with their respective national teams. While Utah Royals FC will have the good fortune of a near-full strength squad, Portland Thorns come to town with the return of nine players from the World Cup, including Adrianna Franch, Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan and Emily Sonnet from the United States Women’s National Team.

 

We Don’t Want No Scrub 

Since last drawing 0-0 with Portland Thorns FC nearly a month ago, Utah Royals FC have gone winless in its last two matches, falling to Reign FC and Sky Blue FC, marking the first time the team has had back-to-back losses this season. It has also been over a month since Royals FC have seen a goal hit the back of the net, the last being FW Amy Rodriguez’s rocket against Sky Blue FC on June 15 at Rio Tinto Stadium. 

 

All the Women, Who Are Independent 

Last time around against Portland Thorns FC, GK Nicole Barnhart made three saves to earn the clean sheet at Providence Park. Utah Royals FC became the first team to hold the Thorns scoreless on their home turf since May 29, 2016. The match also marked the team’s sixth shutout of the season, the most of any team in the league. 

 

Stand Up and Salute

Portland Thorns FC arrive in Utah fresh off a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Orlando Pride with a last-minute goal from Tyler Lussi. In addition to Lussi, Australian international Hayley Raso, Canadian captain Christine Sinclair and the team’s leading scorer Midge Purce, netted the other three goals for the Thorns. The victory moved them into the top spot for the league, tied for first with the North Carolina Courage. 

 

We Can Work From Home

This weekend Utah Royals FC will be seeking its first-ever win over Portland Thorns FC. In the past two seasons, Royals FC have recorded a 0-2-2 record through four games against the team from Oregon. Despite playing four games against one another, only one of the matches has taken place at Rio Tinto Stadium which resulted in a in a 1-1 draw with goals from Utah’s own FW Amy Rodriguez and from Portland Thorns midfielder Tobin Heath. 

 

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