Utah Royals FC (0-1-2, 2 points) celebrated the club’s first ever home match in an all-day event in front of a standing room only crowd of 19,203 at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday. The festive day included pregame and postgame concerts, players from Real Salt Lake and Real Monarchs in attendance and a commemoration with Women In Sports and Events, as the National Women’s Soccer League’s newest club opened the 2018 home schedule with a 1-0 defeat to the Chicago Red Stars.
Utah outshot Chicago 13-10, but forced only one save out of Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher as the newly-founded club seeks its first win. FW Amy Rodriguez made her Utah Royals FC debut when she came on as a late substitute, returning to action 363 days after tearing her ACL in the 2017 NWSL opener for FC Kansas City.
In a balanced first half that saw both teams attempt five shots, the only shot on goal found the back of the net for the Chicago Red Stars. After a ball was crossed in from the right side, DF Rachel Corsie’s headed clearance fell to Danielle Colaprico just outside the box. She hit a wondrous volley that found the top corner of the net to make it 1-0 in the 27th minute.
In the second half, Utah went on the offensive while Chicago clung to the lead, but Royals FC wasn’t able to threaten the Red Stars goal and the match ended with the 1-0 final score.
Match: Utah Royals FC vs Chicago Red Stars
Date: April 14, 2018
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 58
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Utah Royals FC 0 0 0
Chicago Red Stars 1 0 1
CHI: Danielle Colaprico 27’
Utah Royals FC (4-3-3): Abby Smith; Kelley O’Hara (Sydney Miramontez 46’), Becky Sauerbrunn, Rachel Corsie, Brooke Elby; Katie Bowen, Gunny Jónsdóttir, Desire Scott; Lo’eau Labonta (Erika Tymrak 63’), Elise Thorsness, Diana Matheson (Amy Rodriguez 77’).
Subs not used: Nicole Barnhart, Taylor Lytle, Katie Stengel, Brittany Ratcliffe
Chicago Red Stars: (4-1-4-1): Alyssa Naeher; Taylor Comeau, Katie Naughton, Sam Johnson, Arin Gilliland; Nikki Stanton; Alyssa Mautz (Summer Green 80’), Sofia Huerta, Danielle Colaprico, Michelle Vasconcelos; Yuki Nagasato (Stephanie McCaffrey 91+’).
Subs not used: Lauren Kaskie, Emily Boyd, Erin Yenney, Sarah Gorden
Stats Summary: UTA / CHI
Shots: 13 / 10
Shots on Goal: 1 / 2
Saves: 1 / 1
Corner Kicks: 3 / 4
Fouls: 10 / 6
Offside: 6 / 1
Utah Royals FC (0-0-2, 2 pts., NWSL 5thplace) inaugurates the home portion of its first-ever season Saturday afternoon by playing its third National Women’s Soccer League match in club history at 1:30 p.m. MT against the visiting Chicago Red Stars at Rio Tinto Stadium. The match marks the historic home opener for a club born less than 150 days ago, as acclaimed Head Coach Laura Harvey’s side begins a run that sees five of the team’s next six games on the Wasatch Front.
Following a pair of road draws at Houston (0-0, March 30) and at Orlando (1-1, March 24), the Utah Royals FC return home Saturday includes Carnival Real on the Stadium’s East Side at 12 noon (featuring a pre-game concert from local band “Royal Bliss”) and triple-platinum recording artist Rachel Platten to sing the national anthem and provide a post-game concert.
This week’s home match occurs on the backside of a FIFA international break, as six players – Captain Becky Sauerbrunn (USA), MF Desiree Scott & FW Diana Matheson (Canada), MF Gunny Jonsdottir (Iceland), FW Elise Thorsnes (Norway) and DF Rachel Corsie (Scotland) – have returned to the club’s fold this week. Australian MF Katrina Gorry helped her nation clinch a berth in the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 with today’s 1-1 draw with Japan, and will arrive in Utah in late April.