Quote Sheet: URFC 2-1 HOU


Utah Royals FC 2-1 Houston Dash 

Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

Saturday, October 12, 2019


Head Coach Laura Harvey

On the bittersweet ending to the season:

“I said to the players at the end that I think this game summed up our season. I thought we played a brilliant first half, it was some of the best football we’ve played all season, if not for a long time. We just completely controlled the game, and we started the second half the same way. Then we let them back in the game, and that probably sums up the season. There were games where we should have put teams to bed and we didn’t, we let them get back into games. It was definitely bittersweet, but I’m happy that we could finish off with a win in front of our fans.”


On what worked offensively:
“Players playing with freedom, moving the ball quickly with quality. The game plan we set out with worked, and we knew what Houston were going to do. We really just played and moved the ball around well.”


On next season’s goals:

“I think we need consistency. If you look at our performances, there were games we were brilliant and there were games where we were not. We have to find a way to win difficult games. We’ve done that this year at times, but we haven’t done that enough. When we’re really good and we own the ball and possess with a purpose, we don’t tend to lose games. When the games are difficult and it’s a battle, there’s stuff on the line and the pressure’s on, those are the games that we’ve got to work out how to win. We’ve learned about each other over these last two seasons. I say this all the time to the players, that I have to look at myself in the mirror and the players have to look at themselves in the mirror and we have to decide what we all need to do to be better. No game should be taken any more lightly than the other. This isn’t being disrespectful to Houston at all, because they beat us twice, but those games. The games against Sky Blue away, Washington away, not that those teams are poor, they’re not, but those are the games that we have to step up. Just as much as we do against Portland at home or Reign away. We haven’t done that this season, and that’s been our downfall. Last season it was the opposite. We took care of business against all the teams below us, and we didn’t take care of business against the teams above us. We’ve done a way better job of that this year, but again it all comes down to consistency.”


On the urgency:

“I don’t know if it’s urgency, I think that it’s freedom. Because what pressure have we got today? There’s personal pride. In the last 4 games previous to this, every single one of those games mattered. I think we need to look at that, and ask whether if it is pressure. Do we put pressure on ourselves? Do we prepare differently when the pressure’s on than we did leading into this game? Maybe. Those are the things that we really have to dig deep in. Why, when the pressure is not on us, can we go and perform like tonight? It was similar to Sky Blue at home, but way back when we played really well. We’re at a point where we were out of it, the pressure wasn’t on, and we played with loads of freedom.”


Midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta

On the attack:

“We’ve had two weeks to work on our attack, and I think we were really having fun in training with just getting after it. It’s just unfortunate that we did in the last two weeks of the season, but it’s a great note to end on because we know we can do it. You saw it when we had our winning streak for a while, we know that it’s there. That’s the most frustrating part of the season, is knowing that we could have done it, we could have made it to playoffs. We are really good at times. Ending on a good note is great leading into the next season and just building off of this.”


On the bittersweet performance:

“It is 100% so bittersweet. It is very, very frustrating because we know we can do it. We do it in training a lot, but it’s unfortunate when we don’t execute in the game, because we missed a lot of opportunities as well. Just knowing that we can do it is probably the most frustrating thing. It is great putting an attacking show on for our fans coming out at the end of the season. This is what they came here for, and we were doing it for them at the end of the day.”


On ending strong:

“You always want to end strong, no matter how your season looks. We listed off, before the game, everyone that we were doing it for; family, friends, but always at the top of the list are our fans. They’re the ones that are out there going through the cold like we are, and they’re showing up. They are the ones that are able to keep us here and keep the league going, so it’s very satisfying to put on a show for everybody.”


On building to something better:

“As female athletes, we’re always trying to build something or do something for the next generation, the people who are coming in the next year, the rookies. If you don’t leave where you are better than when you came into it, there’s no point of doing it. As long as we can keep building, our goal is to win the game at the end of the week and the next week, and then to make it to playoffs. This is going to continue to be a great organization that a lot of players are going to want to come to.”


On what the team needs for next year:

“There’s always something different every week, something that you can correct. The fact that we are able to pinpoint our mistakes, as a team, is a building block. We got a lot of leeway last year, being a new program. That’s why it was so frustrating this year, because we didn’t have that courtesy anymore. We know that we can do better, so pinpointing that as a team and staff and bringing it back is important. Obviously, no team is every the same the following year. We came with a new formation this year, compared to last year, so who knows what’s going to happen next year.”


Forward Amy Rodriguez

On the season:

“I am so grateful to have this opportunity to play for the Royals and to help lead my team to wins and scoring goals. I am very thankful and grateful for that, but I do feel like I’m leaving the season with a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth. We didn’t make the playoffs. I wish I could have helped my team more, but at this point I’m focused on the next season and grinding during the offseason, just working to get better,”


On the bittersweet ending:

“We feel like we let the playoffs slip through our fingers. There were parts of the season where we played great, we were in form and scoring goals. We were doing the right things, and then I think we let it slip away from us. Right now, we’re with our heads down, disappointed. We wish we could have brought a championship and make the playoffs. We think the city deserves it. We’re happy and proud to represent it and we plan to do better next year.”


On the confidence this win gives:

“The initial down part is that we didn’t make the playoffs. To end on a good note, on a win tonight, all of us are happy. We’re linking arms, cheering for each other, and we’re happy. That’s what you want to see out of a team. You want to see that unity. We didn’t make the playoffs, and sometimes that can separate people, but we’re a tight knit group and I hope that can carry us through until next season.”


On the offseason:

“We have an excellent staff. I would say that we have one of the best performance staff, strength and conditioning coaches, and all the facilities that we need, so I think we’re going to be well taken care of in the offseason. I think that’s going to propel us into the next year, and I guarantee that we’ll come out better than we did this year.”