Pride Royals Preview

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 13, 2018) - Orlando Pride (7-6-4, 25 points) finishes out its two-game road trip against Utah Royals FC (5-5-6, 21 points) on Saturday, July 14. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The match will be nationally televised on ESPNews with Jenn Hildreth, Kate Markgraf and Dalen Cuff on the call.

“With the way the league table is situated, Saturday is going to be a very critical game for us,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “After Wednesday’s performance, it’s important for us to come out, make a statement and bounce back. With how close the standings are and tiebreaker scenarios, owning the season series over Utah could also prove to be a deciding factor at the end of the regular season so we need to go into the match ready to battle for all three points.”

The Pride will be looking to bounce back from a 3-1 loss at Houston on Wednesday that broke a Club-record six-game road unbeaten streak. Sydney Leroux scored the lone goal for the Pride in the 55th minute, her team-leading sixth goal of the season.

Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris is currently second in the league with 54 saves.

The Royals will also be coming off short rest after losing 1-0 at Seattle on Wednesday. Megan Rapinoe scored the lone goal of the match in the 54th minute.

Katie Stengel leads Utah with three goals in 2018. Goalkeeper Abby Smith is tied for the league lead with six clean sheets this season.

The two squads have played to stalemates in both of their previous meetings this season. The first came in a 1-1 draw at Orlando City Stadium on Opening Day. After the Royals went up by a goal early in the match, Marta drew things level with a penalty kick goal for the 1-1 final. The other meeting saw the teams battle to a scoreless draw on May 9 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Since the last match between the two clubs, the Royals have added defender Sam Johnson and U.S. WNT forward Christen Press to their roster. The two were sent to Utah as a part of a three-team trade between the Royals, Chicago Red Stars and Houston Dash.

The Pride will be without forward Marta on Saturday, who was issued a red card in the final minutes of Wednesday’s game in Houston. The Brazilian has three goals and three assists over 12 appearances this season.