The Royals will start their preseason on March 4th and end it on March 29th, with their first match in the 2019 NWSL regular season set to be on April 20th at home against the Washington Spirit.
The Royals are set to have their team in place from the start
Going into their second season, many expect the Royals to be a more settled team than they were last year. With a full preseason beckoning and all of their key players set to be available from the start of the season, Utah will look to make their mark early before the league breaks in June for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Players like Christen Press will be with the team from the very start and a healthy Kelley O'Hara will no doubt help the team early in the season before both players are expected to head off to France in June. They will not be the only notable players returning for the Royals this year but their presence from the first kick off the ball this season will undoubtedly aid the Royals' goal of reaching the NWSL Playoffs this season.
Boquete could be the missing piece for Utah
During the offseason, the Utah Royals brought in former Portland Thorns FC and veteran Spanish international Verónica Boquete also known as 'Vero' Boquete. Boquete is widely regarded as a creative influence in midfield and as a team that was missing the link between a solid defense and an attacking force that features Press, O'Hara and Amy Rodriguez, Boquete will be a welcome addition to the team.
During her time with Portland, Boquete made 15 appearances and scored four goals. Having already played in the NWSL, the Royals will hope that she can add to that tally significantly over the coming months and become a force in the league as she was back in 2014.
Full 30-player preseason roster
Defenders: Katie Bowen (NYR), Rachel Corsie (NYR), Grace Hancock (NRI), Sam Johnson, Michelle Maemone (CDP), Sydney Miramontez, Rebecca Moros, Maddie Nolf (CDP), Kelley O’Hara (FED-USA; NYR), Becky Sauerbrunn (FED-USA;NYR), Haley Skomolski (NRI), Gaby Vincent (NRI).
Midfielders: Lo’eau LaBonta, Verónica Boquete, Makenzy Doniak, Amanda Laddish, Taylor Lytle, Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir (NYR), Diana Matheson (FED-CAN; NYR), Desiree Scott (FED-CAN; NYR), Raisa Strom Okimito (NRI).
FED – 2019 Federation Player
CDP – 2019 NWSL College Draft pick
NRI – Non-Roster Invitee
NYR – Not Yet Reported to Camp
OM — Out of Market