Early in 2019, the Utah Royals announced that they signed Spanish Women’s National Team veteran Veronica “Vero” Boquette to reinforce the midfield and attack. Boquete adds experience to the Royals midfield, as she touts championships in Spain, Sweden and Germany, as well as a UEFA Women’s Championship with FFC Frankfurt in 2014-15. On the international level, she has served as captain for Spain in the 2013 UEFA Women’s European Championship and in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada and won the 2017 Algarve Cup, in addition to the 2004 UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship.
Although the season has only just started for the Royals, they are coming off a win against the Washington Spirit in their first game of the season. Last season was Utah’s first year in the league, where the team finished fifth.
A big acquisition for Laura Harvey’s side last season, U.S. Women’s National Team forward Christen Press is in strong form heading into Saturday’s game. In the team’s opening match, Press created the Royals’ lone goal of the evening with a tremendous individual effort - finding Lo'eau LaBonta for the score.
Internationally, Press has 47 goals in 113 caps with one goal and four assists in her seven appearances in 2019.
Last season, Utah’s inaugural season, the Pride held a 1-0-2 record against the Royals with Orlando’s win coming in the third and final meeting of the season at Rio Tinto Stadium. The teams met in Utah’s first-ever game, which ended as a 1-1 draw at Orlando City Stadium. The two sides later saw a scoreless draw in Sandy, Utah, before the Pride took the final game 2-1.
Rasmussen College Fun Fact
Saturday’s match will reunite members of Tyresö FF’s 2013/14 team, that reached the UEFA Women’s Champions League final. Pride players Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and Marta were teammates of Royals players Christen Press and Vero Boquete on that squad. While Harris and Krieger departed the team early to rejoin the Washington Spirit for the 2014 NWSL season, the remaining three eventually fell to VfL Wolfsburg in the final.