Sky Blue Remain Dismal with Loss to Royals on the Road

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All of the attention may be in France with the World Cup but NWSL’s regular season rolls on and Sky Blue FC continued their dismal play with a 1-0 loss to the Utah Royals on Saturday.

A long range shot from Amy Rodriguez in the 16th minute decided the contest for Utah. Rodriguez sprinted into a wide open midfield and blasted the ball past goalkeeper Didi Haracic who appeared to be surprised by the long-range power.

“I felt like the Jersey defense kinda set off me a little but,” said Rodriguez post-match. “I just took my space, head up, and thought I could go for it. I honestly didn’t think I could score from there.”

Haracic had a busy day in net, stopping an early free kick attempt by Vero Boquete and giving Sky Blue a chance to grab the momentum. They did put up a bit of a fight before the second half when Nicole Barnhart of the Royals was forced to make a tough save on Raquel Rodriguez’s free kick. 

“For the most part our backline was very organized,” said Barnhart. “The chances they got were mostly from outside the 18, nothing too close to the goal. Our backline was willing to put their bodies on the line a couple of times and block a few dangerous chances that they did get.”

The loss drops Sky Blue to a woeful 0-6-2, 11 points off of the playoff pictures and no signs of improving this campaign. Despite signing Carli Lloyd last season, the team was only able to grab one win but it doesn’t seem like they’ll be able to do much better in 2019.

Meanwhile, Utah is looking strong with their second win in three games and just one point back of the Washington Spirit for the top spot in the standings. They’ll have that form put to the test next week as they travel to Portland to play the Thorns.

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