The Royals acquired forward Mallory Weber off the NWSL Waiver Wire on May 13. In addition, Utah signed three players earlier this month in forward Raisa Strom-Okimoto and defenders Meghan Cox and Alexa Kimball in expectation of losing several players for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France this summer.
Utah will be without seven players for Saturday’s game due to international duty to counter the Pride’s eight missing for 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup preparations.
Utah has begun its 2019 NWSL campaign with a 3-1-1 record, good for second place overall, but has only recorded one point from a possible six in its last two games against the Houston Dash and North Carolina Courage. The Royals fell 2-1 to the Dash on May 11 at Rio Tinto Stadium and drew the reigning NWSL Champion Courage 1-1 this past Sunday.
Though the Royals are losing several key players this summer, they will still be with their leading scorer in forward Amy Rodriguez. The former U.S. Women’s National Team member has scored three goals in 2019, finding the back of the net once in each of the Royals’ last three contests. In two seasons in Utah, Rodriguez has scored six goals in 22 appearances for the club. The forward is tied for third in goals scored this season with five other players across the NWSL.
After a 1-0 loss to Utah on April 14, Orlando holds a 1-1-2 record over the Royals historically. The Pride are unbeaten in Utah, however, taking a win and a draw in two meetings at Rio Tinto Stadium last season, the inaugural season for the Royals.
Rasmussen College Fun Fact
Orlando Head Coach Marc Skinner and Utah Head Coach Laura Harvey coached together for one season at Birmingham City Women in England. Skinner was Harvey’s assistant for a year, and while Harvey would move on to Arsenal, the Englishman remained at Birmingham City through the beginning of this year before he was hired to serve at the helm for the Pride.