UTAH ROYALS FC

Royals Drop First Game Of Season, Falling To Houston

May 11, 2019, 3:46 PM | Updated: 3:47 pm
Utah Royals FC midfielder Gunnhildur Jonsdottir (66) lays on the grass after falling hard during th...
Utah Royals FC midfielder Gunnhildur Jonsdottir (66) lays on the grass after falling hard during the match against Houston Dash at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy on Saturday, May 11, 2019. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SANDY, Utah – For the first time in the 2019 season, Utah Royals FC has lost a match.

Amy Rodriguez gave the Royals the lead in the 29th minute off of a great pass from Veronica Boquete, who set Rodriguez up for a breakaway.

Rachel Daly leveled the match before halftime as she scored in the 42nd minute.

Just five minutes into the second half, Daly scored a brace to give Houston a 2-1 advantage.

Steady First Half

In the first 20 minutes of the match, the Royals were missing the final touch, even having the better of possession. It was evident that they want to play through the middle, but Houston is very aware of what Utah wanted to do.

Through that span, Utah’s defense was superb, including solid pressure on the ball, which has led to a number of Houston turnovers and their three chances early in the box have gone begging due to quality marking.

The game was tied at one heading into halftime.

Houston Controlled Second Half

The Dash had a great start to the second half when Daly scored her second goal, just five minutes into the half.

Utah had the better possession once again in the second 45 minutes, but resulted in empty chances. They couldn’t translate into goals. It was surprising with how much the Royals were not looking to counter on the attack. They were playing out of the back line and had slow build ups.

Houston did a good job of killing the game, making Utah chase the ball around the park and creating turnovers when the Royals had possession and not allowing them to get into any rhythm.

In the 89th minute, Daly received a straight red card and was ejected from the match.

Takeaways

  1. Speed Kills – Daly got in behind the URFC defense twice and she made them pay with two goals. Her skillset fits perfectly with the way the Dash want to play, and the Royals defense finally conceded right when they couldn’t.
  2. Turnovers in the midfield were the Royals Achilles heel. They killed the momentum they had in possession. Utah tried to play through the middle, but when the play wasn’t there, they couldn’t hang onto the ball long enough to reset.
  3. Vero is magic. Veronica Boquete has a unique way of controlling the pace of the game and her work rate was outstanding. She has that special quality that Salt Lake City fans haven’t seen since Javier Morales with Real Salt Lake.

Up Next

The Royals drop to 3-1-0 on the season and only their first loss of the season. They will be on the road on Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m. against the North Carolina Courage. The match can be streamed on KSLSports.com and the KSL TV app.

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Royals Drop First Game Of Season, Falling To Houston