Utah Royals FC Can’t Find Net In Disappointing Loss To KC Current

May 25, 2024, 10:49 PM

Utah Royals FC Kansas City KC Current...

(Photo courtesy of Utah Royals FC)

(Photo courtesy of Utah Royals FC)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Royals FC played great defense against the Kansas City Current but a lack of offensive production led to a 1-0 loss on Saturday.

Utah had its hands full in the matchup with an undefeated Kansas City team that leads the NWSL in goals scored. However, it ended up being Kansas City’s defense that gave the Royals the most trouble.

Utah was only able to get two shot attempts off in the game compared to 24 from Kansas City.

Utah Royals Can’t Find Goal In Loss To KC Current At Home

The Royals hosted the Current at America First Field in Sandy, Utah, on Saturday, May 25.

First Half

Kansas City must have been antsy to get started at America First Field following the weather delay as they came out of the gates aggressively with eyes on an early goal.

One of the NWSL’s top goal-scorers Temwa Chawinga nearly got the Current started in the 9th minute. Her shot from the center of the box was close but bounced off of the crossbar.

Utah did a great job of controlling the ball early in the first half but their possession didn’t lead to many scoring opportunities.

On the other hand, Kansas City generated a bunch of scoring looks despite time of possession not being in their favor.

Chawinga was everywhere in the attacking third for KC early. She had four shot attempts in the first 20 minutes of the match.

Utah’s first attempt came off of the foot of Ally Sentnor in the 22nd minute. With numbers on the break, Sentnor called her own number but the shot from the top of the box missed to the right.

Sentnor’s attempt ended up being the Royals’ only of the half.

Kansas City continued to get quality looks but Utah held strong on the back end.

In the 29th minute, defender Lauren Flynn made a huge stop for Utah after goalkeeper Mandy Haught got beat at the top of the box.

Chawinga sent a rocket toward the top of the net but Flynn was there to redirect the shot out of bounds.

Much of the credit for the 0-0 scoreline at half belongs to Haught.

The Current took 16 shots in the first 45 minutes and Haught came away with three saves.

Second Half

Disaster nearly struck for Utah just minutes after the half.

A VAR review for a Utah handball in the box was looked at for a couple of minutes with a penalty kick looming over the heads of the home side. The officials deemed that Flynn’s arm was in a natural position as the ball bounced off of her body into her hand and play resumed.

It didn’t take long for the Current to avenge what that thought was an incorrect call.

In the 58th minute, Elizabeth Ball was on the receiving end of a header pass from Claire Hutton inside the box. Ball was able to put her attempt on the right side of the net to put Kansas City up a goal.

Kansas City wasn’t comfortable with the one-goal advantage. They took four more shots in the next 15 minutes. Each attempt was either a save or a couple of feet away from doubling the KC lead.

The game against Kansas City was almost a carbon copy of Utah’s previous match against North Carolina. The Royals survived an offensive onslaught from the Courage but a lack of offensive production made a draw or win seem impossible.

RELATED: Utah Royals FC Fights Hard, Fall Short Against North Carolina Courage

Every time the Royals were able to get the ball into the attacking third, it was a bad pass or unadvised decision that resulted in the ball quickly going the other way.

America First Field started to buzz in the 83rd minute as the Royals looked like they could have their best scoring look of the game so far. It turned out to be too good to be true as Brecken Mozingo was called offside.

The Royals were given one last spark of hope as nine minutes of stoppage time was added to the second half.

Unfortunately, Utah was unable to get a last-minute equalizer as they fell to 1-9-1 with the 1-0 loss to Kansas City at home.

How To Watch Utah Royals FC, NWSL Matches In 2024 Season

Like many other leagues, the NWSL broadcasts its games on a handful of channels and platforms.

TV options include CBS, ESPN, and ION network. Streaming options include Prime Video, Paramount+, ESPN+, and NWSL+.

Live radio calls of every game can be found on KSLSports.com. Select games will be broadcast on the KSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM/1280 AM) and KSL NewsRadio (102.7 FM/1160 AM).

Check out where to watch each Utah Royals game here.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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Utah Royals FC Can’t Find Net In Disappointing Loss To KC Current