Neck-and-neck match between Pride and Royals ends scoreless

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BRIDGEVIEW, IL - MAY 02: The Orlando Pride reacts after winning against the Chicago Red Stars on May 2, 2018 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SANDY, UTAH (May 9, 2018) – For the fourth match in the row, the Orlando Pride and Utah Royals FC have not been defeated. The two sides oddly celebrated respective unbeaten streaks with a scoreless draw at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah, as Pride and Royals ends scoreless.

It was a clash of Sydney Leroux against her former FC Kansas City teammates. This past offseason, FC Kansas City folded and many players moved west. However, Leroux elected to join her husband Dom Dwyer down in Orlando.

Neck-and-neck match between Pride and Royals ends scoreless

However, Leroux would not score against her former teammates. Instead, Royals goalkeeper Abby Smith made two saves — one against Leroux.

On the other end, Ashlyn Harris denied midfielder Kelley O’Hara. O’Hara left the match in second half stoppage time with a hamstring injury.

After the match, Royals Head Coach Laura Harvey said that she’s content with Utah being known as “a good defensive team.”

“We were disappointed coming off not getting the three points,” Harvey said. “I felt over the ninety minutes, we were the better team. We created more dangerous opportunities than they did. I think that in the first half, we were cautious too much on the ball. I think we were a bit braver in the second half and I think we got the reward of that.”

Meanwhile, Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said earning the clean sheet was “a positive.”

“It’s great to get another clean sheet and a point but I think our performance left a lot to be desired,” Sermanni said. “I thought we played probably as poorly tonight as we’ve played this season. To do that and come away with a point is positive.”

Three Takeaways

  1. Hope for O’Hara: Kelley O’Hara was featured in more of an attacking midfielder role. Harvey decided her place — after scoring during the weekend — was better up front. However, an injury might plague the veteran. After the match, Harvey said the injury was “nagging” her for a while. “Obviously, she was in a lot of pain and devastated that she got injured, and that’s the type of character that she is,” Harvey said.
  2. Give Chioma Ubogagu the ball: Despite having a talented roster, Sermanni has elected to keep forward Chioma Ubogagu in the match. However, plenty of her teammates disregarded her in this match. Only one shot — and one on goal — was produced against Utah.
  3. Utah needs a win: It’s hard to make sense of the NWSL table this early into the season. However, right now, Utah and Orlando are neck-at-neck in fifth and sixth place. Three points are needed in matches — especially at home.

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