Utah Royals head coach Laura Harvey held nothing back when talking about her team’s 2-0 home loss to Reign FC on Friday. The frustrating performance drops the team into fourth place, allowing the Reign to leap over them in the standings.
“We weren’t good enough from minute one to minute 90,” said Harvey after the game. “We were slow, lethargic and we didn’t have any spark.
“Tactics are pointless if you don’t execute, and we didn’t even come close to executing.”
Reign FC seemed to have the game well in hand early in the game when they were freely taking shots at the Royals net. Passes out of the back from the Royals seemed lazy and the Seattle players leaped into action on nearly every turnover.
The first goal game in the 30th minute when Jessica Fishlock and Bethany Balcer put on a passing display that lead to a chance. Fishlock was the last one with the ball, shooting past Royals keeper Nicole Barnhart. Fishlock continued to torment the defense later in the half, dribbling through the defense and finding a wide open Ifeoma Onumonu for an easy double.
Royals did little to fight back with Reign FC nearly making it a three goal lead several times in the second half.
“I think, ultimately, we weren’t good enough,” said Royals midfielder Mandy Laddish. “We didn’t fight hard enough, we were spread out, we weren’t connecting passes at all.
“Sometimes you come out and you just are flat, and I think that’s something that we addressed at halftime, and unfortunately I don’t think we fixed it as well as we’d like.”
The loss is the Royals’ third of the season. Next they will travel to New Jersey to face a winless Sky Blue FC team. It could be the opportunity Harvey and the team need to get back on track heading into the remainder of the campaign.