SANDY, Utah – (Friday, July 19, 2019) – Utah Royals FC (5-4-3, 18 points) drew 1-1 with Portland Thorns FC on Friday night in front of 15,931 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium in the first home match for the club’s six players that played in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
FW Christen Press and DF Rachel Corsie each notched goals for URFC in the draw. Press notched her second goal of the year and her first since returning from France with the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup champion U.S. Women’s National Team and Corsie scored her first for the club.
The Thorns jumped out to an early lead when in the 9th minute Canadian international Christine Sinclair fired a driven volley into the top corner of GK Nicole Barnhart’s net to give the visitors the early lead. Royals FC equalized in the 43rd minute when Press megged her defender before slotting a shot past Portland goalkeeper Adrianna Franch to send the match to halftime knotted at 1-1.
Throughout the second half, URFC played the aggressor as it went in search of its second goal. FW Katie Stengel nearly put the hosts in front in the early stages of the second half, but Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch did well to save the shot low to her right side in the 59th minute. In the dying moments of the match, Thorns FC jumped ahead through DF Becky Sauerbrunn when the deflected shot from Portland found its way into the back of the net in the 87th minute. Just three minutes later, Corsie’s sliding effort drew URFC level at 2-2 on a cross from DF Kelley O’Hara.
Utah Royals FC continued the pressure to the very end, forcing Franch to make two spectacular stoppage-time saves, including one with her face to keep the match level at the final whistle.
UP NEXT: URFC will remain in Utah where they will face the defending National Women’s Soccer League Champions North Carolina Courage at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, July 27 at 8:00 p.m. MT.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
POR: Christine Sinclair, 9th minute: Receiving a bouncing ball well outside the penalty area, Sinclair adjusted to have a look at goal. As the ball fell, Sinclair lined up a driven volley that looped into the top corner of the far post for the early lead.
UTA: Christen Press (Gunny Jónsdóttir), 43rd minute: In her first game back with Utah, Christen Press ran down a long ball from Gunny Jónsdóttir, she then proceeded to nutmeg Portland Thorns defender Elizabeth Ball and with a simple touch towards goal she slipped the ball in near post to even the score.
POR: Own Goal (Becky Sauerbrunn), 87th minute: A long-ball lumped into the box saw the ball drop near the penalty spot where the shot took an unfortunate deflection off Becky Sauerbrunn to wrong-foot Barnhart in the URFC net.
UTA: Rachel Corsie (Kelley O’Hara), 90th minute: After going down a goal moments earlier, Corsie connected a sliding shot inside the six-yard box that slipped through the legs of Franch in the Thorns FC net.
- Prior to the match, seven members of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup winning team from the United States were honored. URFC trio Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara and Christen Press along with Portland’s Tobin Heath, Emily Sonnett, Adrianna Franch and Lindsey Horan were all honored prior to the match.
- In her first game back with Utah FW Christen Press scored her second goal of the season and became only the second player to score for Royals FC since May 25.
- DF Rachel Corsie scored her first goal in a Utah Royals FC uniform with her goal in the 90th minute.
Match: Utah Royals FC vs. Portland Thorns
Date: July 19, 2019
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Sunny and 93 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 1 1 2
Portland Thorns 1 1 2
POR: Christine Sinclair 9’
UTA: Christen Press (Gunny Jonsdottir) 43’
POR: Becky Sauerbrunn (OG) 87'
UTA: Rachel Corsie (Kelley O’Hara) 90’
Utah Royals FC (4-4-2): Nicole Barnhart; Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn ©, Rachel Corsie, Katie Bowen; Mandy Laddish (Katie Stengel, 11’; Becca Morros, 90’+3), Gunny Jónsdóttir, Lo’eau LaBonta (Vero Boquete, 78’), Desiree Scott; Amy Rodriguez, Christen Press
Subs not used: Abby Smith, Gabby Vincent, Erika Tymrak, Mallory Weber
Portland Thorns (4-4-2): Adrianna Franch; Ellie Carpenter (Caitlin Foord 63’), Elizabeth Ball (Emily Sonnett 69’), Emily Menges, Katherine Reynolds; Meghan Klingenburg, Lindsey Horan, Gabby Seiler, Christine Sinclair ©; Hayley Raso, Midge Purce (Tobin Heath, 77’)
Subs not used: Britt Eckerstrom, Celeste Boureille, Andresshina, Tyler Lussi
Stats Summary: UTA / POR
Shots on Goal: 7/2
Corner Kicks: 5/6
POR: Caitlin Foord (caution) 82’
Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
Assistant Referees: Maggie Short, Melissa Beck
4th Official: Brad Jensen