Utah Royals FC ready for historic season opener

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SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Royals FC will play its first ever soccer game in the National Women’s Soccer League this Saturday when the Royals travel to Orlando.

This isn’t your typical expansion team. The Royals have 11 players on national teams, including three from the United States in Kelley O’Hara, Becky Saurbrunn and Amy Rodriguez. So head coach Laura Harvey expects to win right away.

“I think you have to think like that,” Harvey said. “I think the tough thing about this year is just the time we’ve had together has been super limited. The fact that I’m a new coach with this team is tough.”

What has also been tough is the competition in training camp. In fact, Harvey has not decided on a starting lineup yet.

“It’s still ongoing,” she said. “It’s scary, but it’s exciting. The girls have given so much throughout preseason that they’re all putting themselves in the picture to have a starting spot, which is nice.”

The Royals historic first home game is on April 14th, but the team has already sold 4,000 season tickets and 8,000 tickets for the opener.

“That’s phenomenal,” Harvey said. “I think getting the season ticket holders in means there are committed fans. Obviously the community has embraced us. So you just know that there’s a lot of excitement around it, and I’ve always said from day one that it’s our job now to put a product on the field that they can be proud of.”

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