Chicago Red Stars Top Utah Royals FC in Post-Trade Clash

Red Stars Top Utah Royals
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BRIDGEVIEW, ILLINOIS (June 23, 2018) — Less than a week after completing a three-team trade that sent five players to new locations, the Chicago Red Stars and Utah Royals faced off.

The two clubs were just two of the three teams involved with the massive trade. The Houston Dash was the third club involved.

Chicago Red Stars Top Utah Royals FC 2-0 in Post-Trade Clash

Utah wasn’t ready to suit up Christen Press or Samantha Johnson, but Chicago wasn’t as precautionary. Instead, Morgan Brian was initially placed in the Starting XI. However, Rory Dames, head coach of the Red Stars, removed her for precautionary reasons.

Instead, Nikki Stanton started the match. Brian did not join her fellow new Red Star, Brooke Elby, in the 18-player pool. Elby, a defender, did not make her debut for Chicago, either.

The moves didn’t harm Chicago, as the team still managed to keep the Royals scoreless. Kathleen Naughton and Vanessa DiBernado scored two second-half goals within eight minutes of each other.

After the match, Royals FC Head Coach Laura Harvey said that Utah “didn’t get it right.”

“It’s my responsibility that we didn’t get the game plan right,” Harvey said. “From the start, I didn’t think we executed it well enough either. Now we have a very quick turn-around now – we need to turn our sights to Seattle, and make sure we get that right because it’s a huge game.”

Gunnhildur “Gunny” Jónsdóttir, Royals FC midfielder, said that the first goal occurred because Utah wasn’t concentrating.

“I think we just need to look back at the game, learn from it, and take what we learn into the next game on Wednesday,” Jónsdóttir said. “I think that’s what we need to be focusing on.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Even goalkeeping: Abby Smith and Alyssa Naeher have spent a lot of time together in June. At the beginning of the month, the two goalkeepers joined forces with the U.S. Women’s National Team against China. However, this time, Naeher got the better result with her side. Each goalkeeper made three saves in the match.
  2. A split on the road: The Utah Royals finished four-straight matches on the road. Two wins and two losses were the final result, splitting the streak away from Rio Tinto Stadium. Now, Utah will have two back-to-back matches at home.
  3. Casey Short returns: Casey Short has been battling an ankle injury for some time now. She originally picked up the injury with the USWNT during the SheBelieves Cup, but continued to aggravate it. She returned from injury in the second half of Chicago’s victory. The addition helps a shaky Red Stars defense.

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