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Boyds, Md. (4/19/19) – The Washington Spirit will be taking on west-coast opponents Utah Royals FC after a successful debut at the Maryland SoccerPlex last week.
The Spirit are looking to continue their run of form after a nearly-perfect debut last Saturday at home against visiting Sky Blue FC. The dominant 2-0 win was punctuated by goals from rookie defender Sam Staab and newly-acquired Megan Crosson. Head Coach Richie Burke’s new-look Spirit defense bent but never broke, allowing only two shots on target and recording a clean sheet. The Spirit defense will strive to continue their smart play into match-week two.
Utah, known for their aggressive press-defense, will look to cause problems among the Washington Spirit midfield, as they scored four goals from turnovers high up the field last season. Spirit midfielders Andi Sullivan, Meggie Dougherty Howard and Jordan DiBiasi showed composure under pressure last week against Sky Blue, as they were able to complete nearly 81% of their passes as a midfield.
Utah Royals FC are the only club in the NWSL to have not kicked off their 2019 NWSL season yet, as their game against the Spirit will be their debut. The Royals, who narrowly missed the playoffs last season, will be looking to refocus this year after falling just short in 2018. Utah caught fire at the end of last season, scoring 87.5% of their goals in the second half of the year.
Utah looks to take advantage of their home field on Saturday, as the Royals ranked second in the league in average home attendance behind just Portland.
Kickoff at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah is set for 9 p.m. EST, and the game will be broadcasted on NBC Sports Washington plus and Yahoo Sports in addition to streaming on Monumental Sports Network.