Fresh of their first road win of the season, Reign FC (3-1-5, 14 points) travels to face Utah Royals FC (5-2-2, 17 points) at Rio Tinto Stadium on Friday, June 28 at 7:00 p.m. PT. Reign FC was undefeated against the nascent club in its inaugural 2018 season, posting a 2-0-1 record against Utah.
“Playing Utah is not going to be easy,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “We know that they’re one of the best teams in the league, regardless of who they have. I know they’re going to be good. Amy Rodriguez is a dangerous forward and she’s going to be hard to stop, but at the same time we’re going to try our best and do whatever it takes to get out of there with a positive result.”
Last Match: 1-0 W at Chicago Red Stars
Jess Fishlock fought her way to a late goal for Reign FC, helping the club to a win over the Chicago Red Stars on June 23. The win avenged Reign FC’s lone loss of the season and improve to 1-1-2 away from Cheney Stadium.
Casey Murphy recorded three saves, including a diving stop against Savannah McCaskill in the 41st minute to keep her first NWSL clean sheet in the win.
A Familiar Foe in Coach Laura Harvey
Reign FC will face off against former head coach Laura Harvey when it takes on Utah. Harvey was the first head coach in club history, guiding the club to a 55-33-26 regular season and two NWSL Shields in five seasons at the helm of the club.
Defender Steph Cox, who both played and coached under Harvey, says the familiarity between the sides should make for a good match.
“She has the same centerback in (former Reign FC player) Rachel Corsie,” Cox said. “She’s recruited and gotten different players that seem somewhat similar. She definitely has her own unique DNA. I think it will match well against us.”
Every Goal Counts
Neither club has let opponents find the back of the net very often in 2019. Utah has allowed a league-fewest five goals through nine matches, while Reign FC is tied for second-fewest in the league with nine conceded.
On the opposite spectrum, both clubs come in with low offensive production. Utah and Reign FC account for the second and third-fewest goals scored in the league, respectively.
Ifeoma Onumonu Named Player of the Week
Ifeoma Onumonu was named the NWSL Player of the Week for Week 10 Tuesday. Onumonu had a busy match against Chicago for Reign FC on June 23. The forward completed 24 of her 30 passes, had four key passes and created the opportunity that led to Fishlock’s game-winner.
“We brought Ifeoma in to help us stay goal-dangerous while our players were away at the World Cup,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “She worked hard against Chicago and I think she deserves the award.”
The award, which is voted on by a panel of media members who regularly cover the NWSL, was the first of Onumonu’s career.
Seven players are unavailable for Reign FC in Friday’s contest:
Taylor Smith (torn ACL)
Jasmyne Spencer (torn ACL)
Michelle Betos (ruptured achilles)
Jaycie Johnson (SEI knee)
Scout Watson (concussion)
Kristen McNabb (calf)
Morgan Andrews (hamstring)
How to Watch