Utah Royals FC vs Orlando Pride Preview: the Royals look to top the table
Source: ISI Photos

Rio Tinto Stadium will be the venue for tomorrow's National Women's Soccer League match up between hosts Utah Royals FC and the Orlando Pride.

The Royals come into this game after picking up a credible draw away to the North Carolina Courage while the Orlando Pride are still in search of their first three points of the season.

Boquete and Rodriguez expected to come to the fore

Amy Rodriguez is expected to keep the goals coming for Utah | Source: Trent Nelson-The Salt Lake Tribune
Amy Rodriguez is expected to keep the goals coming for Utah | Source: Trent Nelson-The Salt Lake Tribune

With so many key players now unavailable due to being with their national teams for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, head coach Laura Harvey has looked to Verónica Boquete and Amy Rodriguez to become even bigger players than usual for Utah. So far, they have answered the call and are keeping Utah at the top of the table and very much still in the hunt to make their first playoff appearance in franchise history.

Boquete in particular will need to take over in midfield as Utah are not only missing international players e.g. Desiree Scott and ​​​​​​​ in key positions there but Taylor Lytle was also lost to a season-ending injury not too long ago. If the complimentary players Utah have in their roster are able to give Boquete the ball in good areas, she can pick out Rodriguez who has been sharp in front of goal this season.

A break in schedule could help the Pride

Rachel Hill has some big shoes to fill | Source: orlandocitysc.com
Rachel Hill has some big shoes to fill | Source: orlandocitysc.com

The Orlando Pride have not played a league match since their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Portland Thorns FC on May 11th. That loss was an example of how things have gone wrong for the Pride under new head coach Marc Skinner and they will be hoping that the lack of action has given them enough time to address their frailties enough to possibly get a win this weekend.

Orlando are also missing a derth of players who are all now on international duty for the upcoming World Cup so the likes of Rachel Hill and Kristen Edmonds need to step and fill the holes left behind by Marta and Alex Morgan, to name a few. At the back, Orlando have been incredibly porous which has led them to conceding 13 goals in six matches. That has to change if they want to not only win tomorrow but also remove themselves from the bottom of the NWSL. 

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