Reign FC (7-3-6, 26 points) wrap up a three-match, 10-day span at home against Utah Royals FC (6-6-3, 21 points) on Sunday, August 11 at 1:00 p.m. PT. Reign FC won the first meeting of the season against Utah on the road back on June 28.
“We’re hoping to cap this run of matches off the right way at home,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “Utah are a dangerous team and we know that we have to continue our high level of defensive play and finish our chances if we want to be successful.”
Last Match: 1-0 W vs. Portland Thorns FC
For the second time in 2019, Reign FC served up a shutout against Portland Thorns FC. The club defeated Portland 1-0 at Cheney Stadium on Wednesday night thanks to midfielder Rosie White’s second-consecutive game-winning goal and stellar play from the back line.
“As I was walking this way I was thinking about what this game looked like,” Andonovski said. “I think it was a typical Reign-Portland game. At times physical, at times beautiful, at times opportunities and at times just a battle. That’s what it looked like. I thought that both teams played hard. I thought both teams were disciplined and organized. Even before the game we knew that one little thing was going to decide the game and I’m just glad that it was something we did.”
Full Court Press
Christen Press scored a brace against Sky Blue FC on Wednesday night, helping the club to a 3-0 win at home. Press has five goals in five appearances for the Royals this season, while Amy Rodriguez leads the team with six goals.
“Both Press and Rodriguez are really dangerous players,” Andonovski said. “We have to work hard to make it so they don’t have any lanes to press forward when they get on the ball to limit their effectiveness in the final third.”
Head Coach Laura Harvey
Utah is led by former Reign FC head coach Laura Harvey, who led the club from 2013 to 2017 and won back-to-back NWSL Shields in 2014 and 2015. Sunday’s match will be Reign FC’s first at home against Harvey since moving from Memorial Stadium in Seattle.
“We always love to have her back here,” centerback and captain Lauren Barnes said. “Moving from Memorial probably takes a lot of the emotion from her for that. That was the Seattle Reign when we were there, it was our heart and soul. We always played so well when we were at Memorial. It will be nice to have her come in here and see the changes, but we’re here to play each other and be competitive. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.”
Keeping it Close
Reign FC has the best record in the league in matches decided by one goal to this point in the season. The club is a perfect 6-0 in games decided by one goal, having played the second-fewest such matches.
“I think our record in close games is a testament to how hard our team works to defend,” Andonovski said. “Our team always works hard, but once we get the lead our players make it very difficult for the other team to come and get a goal.”
11 players are unavailable for selection in Sunday’s contest:
Taylor Smith (SEI torn R ACL)
Jasmyne Spencer (SEI torn L ACL)
Jess Fishlock (SEI torn L ACL)
Michelle Betos (SEI ruptured R Achilles)
Jaycie Johnson (SEI R knee)
Scout Watson (SEI concussion)
Lydia Williams (45D L ankle)
Megan Rapinoe (L achilles)
Rumi Utsugi (L calf)
Steph Cox (R calf)
Kristen McNabb (L soleus)
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