PORTLAND, Oregon (Sunday, September 20, 2020) – Utah Royals FC returned to action Sunday in the NWSL Fall Series, falling 3-0 to the Portland Thorns at Providence Park.
Portland controlled much of the first half, outshooting Utah 8-4 while holding over 60 percent of the possession. Simone Charley had the breakthrough to give the Thorns the lead in the 35th minute and Utah went into halftime trailing 1-0.
Utah opened the second half on the front foot after the halftime insertion of Vero Boquete, as Amy Rodriguez had an early opportunity glance just wide of the net for the best opportunity of the match for the Royals to that point. Any forward momentum was thwarted when Portland added a second goal through Sophia Smith in the 72nd minute, then Lindsey Horan added a third off a deflected clearance in the 81st minute for the final 3-0 tally.
UP NEXT: Utah Royals FC resumes the NWSL Fall Series against OL Reign at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, September 26. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. MT.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN:
POR: Simone Charley (Lindsey Horan) 35th minute - Lindsey Horan played a ball over the top to Simone Charley, who dodged two defenders before putting a shot past Abby Smith for a 1-0 lead.
POR: Sophia Smith (Meghan Klingenberg) 72nd minute – Meghan Klingenberg sent a ball in from the right side and Sophia Smith popped a header just out of reach for Abby Smith to put the Thorns up 2-0.
POR: Lindsey Horan 81st minute – With Utah playing out of the back, Lindsey Horan deflected a clearance into the goal for a 3-0 Portland lead.
- Amy LePeilbet served as Interim Head Coach in the match. Utah Head Coach Craig Harrington and Assistant Coach Louis Lancaster have been placed on a leave of absence from team activities, including the match against Portland.
- Sunday was Tziarra King’s first professional start. She scored one goal in four substitute appearances during the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup in Herriman.
- Former URFC captain Becky Sauerbrunn made her first appearance against her former team, coming on as a substitute in the 63rd minute.
Match: Utah Royals FC at Portland Thorns
Date: September 20, 2020
Venue: Providence Park; Portland, Oregon
Weather: 70 and partly cloudy
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 0 0 0
Portland Thorns 1 2 3
POR: Simone Charley (Lindsey Horan) 35’
POR: Sophia Smith (Meghan Klingenberg) 72’
POR: Lindsey Horan 81’
Utah Royals (4-3-3): Abby Smith; Katie Bowen, Elizabeth Ball, Kate Del Fava, Michelle Maemone (Mallory Weber HT); Lo’eau LaBonta, Aminata Diallo, Taylor Lytle (Vero Boquete HT); Brittany Ratcliffe, Amy Rodriguez (Arielle Ship 63’), Tziarra King (Raisa Strom-Okimoto 63’).
Subs not used: Melissa Lowder, Gaby Vincent, Taylor Leach.
Portland Thorns (4-4-2): Britt Eckerstrom; Christen Westphal (Madison Pogarch HT), Emily Menges, Kelli Hubly (Becky Sauerbrunn 62’), Megan Klingenberg; Angela Salem (Gabby Seiler 70’), Lindsey Horan, Raquel Rodrigues, Christine Sinclair; Simone Charley (Sophia Smith 70’), Tyler Lussi (Marisa Everett 86’).
Subs not used: Nadine Angerer, Emily Ogle.
Stats Summary: UTA / POR
Shots: 15 / 21
Shots on Goal: 3 / 7
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 9
Fouls: 8 / 7
Offside: 0 / 2
POR: Madison Pogarch (caution) 87’
POR: Megan Klingenberg (caution) 90’+5
Referee: Adorae Monroe
Assistant Referees: Corbyn May, Sya Magee
4th Official: Baboucarr Jallow