Utah Royals FC suffered the club’s worst-ever loss in its 15-game history Friday night at Portland’s Providence Park, falling 0-4 at defending NWSL champion Thorns FC in the first leg of back-to-back Pacific Northwest “turf” games.
Head Coach Laura Harvey’s side continues on to Seattle next Wednesday, Harvey visiting Memorial Stadium in Seattle for the first time since her resignation from the Reign last November, weeks prior to Utah’s NWSL existence. Wednesday’s match airs live on KMYU and ESPN700 AM while streaming digitally via the RSL on KSL app and KSL.com at 8:30 p.m. MT, with Greg Wrubell and Carla Haslam on the call.
Portland improved to 2-0-1 against Utah this season to close out the clubs’ three-game season series with Friday’s dominant performance, a three-goal first-half kicked off with an exquisite Tobin Heath chip just 63 seconds into the match, the quickest goal ever conceded by Royals FC. Back on May 25, Thorns FC won 2-0 over Utah, via a pair of first-half goals.
Just a half-hour following Heath’s 2nd-minute goal, Portland blew open the game with two goals in three minutes, as Lindsay Horan and Ana Crnogorcevic were rewarded by relentless pressure and beneficial deflections across Utah’s backline, which conceded multiple goals for just the fourth time in 15 games and more than two for the first time ever.
With tonight’s result, two points separate five teams in the race for the final three playoff spots, with Utah holding at least one game in hand over Portland and Chicago, with Orlando and Seattle playing in Saturday’s action.
Following the Portland/Seattle trip, Royals FC returns home to kick off a run that sees Utah play four of five games at home from July 14 – against Alex Morgan, Marta, Sydney Leroux and the Orlando Pride, at 5:00 p.m. MT – to August 11 in a return match against Harvey’s former Seattle side, as part of a second-half of its inaugural campaign where Rio Tinto Stadium hosts five of the club’s final eight games. Tickets for all home games are available at www.UtahRoyalsFC.com/Tickets or by calling 844.Real.Tix.
Match: Utah Royals FC vs Portland Thorns FC
Date: July 6, 2018
Venue: Providence Park, Portland, OR
Weather: Sunny, 80 degrees F
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 0 0 0
Portland Thorns FC. 3 1 4
POR: Heath, 2’
POR: Horan, 32’
POR: Crnogorcevic, 34’
POR: Lussi, 62’
Utah Royals FC (4-3-3): Abby Smith, Sam Johnson (Sydney Miramontez, 52’),Rachel Corsie, Becky Sauerbrunn, Becca Moros, Desiree Scott, Gunny Jonsdottir, Katrina Gorry (Lo’eau LaBonta, 65’), Diana Matheson, Amy Rodriguez (Katie Stengel, 75’), Christen Press
Substitutes not used: Nicole Barnhart, Taylor Lytle, Brittany Ratcliffe, Erika Tymrak
Portland Thorns FC (4-3-3): Adrianna Franch, Emily Menges, Emily Sonnett, Celeste Bourielle, Ellie Carpenter, Midge Purce (Mallory Weber, 46’), Lindsey Horan, Christine Sinclair, Tobin Heath (Tyler Lussi, 62’), Ana Marie Crnogorcevic, Hayley Raso (Elizabeth Ball, 85’)
Subs not used: Britt Eckerstrom, Ifeoma Onumonu, Angela Salem, Kelli Hubly
Stats Summary: UTA / POR
Shots: 7 / 9
Shots on Goal: 3 / 6
Saves: 2 / 3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 3
Fouls: 11 / 9
Offside: 2 / 2
UTA: Samantha Johnson, 31’ (caution)
UTA: Diana Matheson, 45’ (caution)
Center: Farhad Dadkho
First Assistant: John Krill
Second Official: Sya Magee
Fourth: Scott Kachmarik