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Preview: Top-Ranked URFC Faces Spirit

May 31, 2019 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - Utah Royals FC News Release

SANDY, Utah - Utah Royals FC heads to the East Coast to take on the second-place Washington Spirit in a battle of the top two teams in the league on Saturday, June 1 at 5:00 p.m. MT at Maryland SoccerPlex.

Since Sunday, DF Katie Bowen has departed Utah to begin preparations with New Zealand for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. The Football Ferns will face England on June 1 and Wales on June 4 in their final tune-ups before the start of the tournament.

Bowen's departure marks the final international player to temporarily leave Royals FC to take part on this historic tournament in France.

DF Kelley O'Hara (USA), FW Christen Press (USA), DF Becky Sauerbrunn (USA), DF Rachel Corsie (SCO) and MF Desiree Scott (CAN) have all previously left Utah and will continue preparations with their respective national teams in anticipation for the start of the tournament on June 7.

In addition, in conjunction with the FIFA Women's World Cup, the National Women's Soccer League will take a 12-day break to allow for the completion of the Group Stage of the tournament. Saturday's match will mark the last for Royals FC before this pause in competition and the team will return on June 15 to face Sky Blue FC at Rio Tinto Stadium.

In their last match, Royals FC recorded its fourth win of the season, defeating the Orlando Pride 2-0. FW Amy Rodriguez scored her fourth goal of the season in as many matches off a penalty kick when MF Vero Boquete was taken down inside the 18-yard-box in the 31st minute. Utah maintained pressure and were able to double the score in the 89th minute when MF Lo'eau LaBonta connected with MF Makenzy Doniak off a free kick in open space. Doniak maneuvered the ball towards goal and placed it directly between the legs of the opposing goalkeeper.

After further review from the NWSL Disciplinary Committee, LaBonta was issued a two-game suspension for an incident that occurred in the 53rd minute with Orlando Pride DF Carson Pickett. As a result, she will miss the game against Washington and the following game against Sky Blue FC.

URFC enters the match with a 4-0-0 (12 points) all-time record against Washington. Saturday's match will mark the second time these two sides have faced each other this season, most recently Royals FC defeated the Spirit 1-0 at Rio Tinto Stadium with a goal from LaBonta, assisted by Press.

How to Follow Utah Royals FC vs. Washington Spirit - Sat., June 1, 2019

- Coverage Begins: 5:00 p.m. MT

- Local TV: KMYU

- Digital Streaming: KSL TV app, Yahoo Sports!,

- English Radio: 101.5 The Eagle

- Spanish Radio: N/A

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National Women's Soccer League Stories from May 31, 2019

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