It’s been awhile since we’ve seen OL Reign play this year, but we finally get to see them take the field in their first NWSL Fall Series match. OL Reign are on the road to take on the Utah Royals FC at 12:30 PM PT today, Sept. 26.
The match will stream on CBS All Access (US/Canada) and Twitch (International).
Utah is dealing with a lot right now, with ownership and leadership stepping away after a series of accusations of racism and sexism emerged. Last week, just before their first match against the Portland Thorns, the club put head coach Craig Harrington on administrative leave — replacing him with assistant coach and former NWSL player Amy LePeilbet.
OL Reign earned a 1-0 win in the Challenge Cup against the Royals thanks to a Bethany Balcer header to close out the game. Both teams look a little different for the Fall Series, with players on both sides opting out or heading overseas on loans.
While the Royals played a 3-5-2 in the Challenge Cup this summer, their first match against the Portland Thorns for the Fall Series saw them roll out a 4-3-3. The Royals fell 3-0 to Portland in that match and were outmatched in the midfield.
This will be the first match of 2020 for OL Reign in front of fans, as the Royals are selling up to 5,000 tickets for the game. Based on a look at the tickets still remaining, the number in attendance will likely be much lower.
Absences: Injury, international duty and suspension
OUT: Kelcie Hedge (SEI – right knee), Julia Ashley (back), Sam Hiatt (face), Lauren Barnes (Loan), Celia Jiménez Delgado (Loan), Jess Fishlock (Loan), Machaela George (Loan), Kelcie Hedge (ACL Tear), Darian Jenkins (Loan), Yuka Momiki (Loan), Quinn (Loan), Megan Rapinoe (Opt-Out)
OUT: Nicole Barnhart (left Achilles), Desiree Scott (Opt-Out), Diana Matheson (Opt-Out), Kelley O’Hara (Opt-Out), Gunny Jonsdottir (Loan), Rachel Corsie (Loan)
QUESTIONABLE: Abby Smith (left knee)
What to Watch
- How OL Reign control the midfield
- Don’t give Royals midfielder Vero Boquete time and space
- Keep a clean sheet
Our Starting XI for our @NWSL Fall Series debut is set. We're ready. Are you ready?#BeBold pic.twitter.com/CMLRylEDIq— OL Reign (@OLReign) September 26, 2020
Being at the RioT has never felt so good!#URFC | #NWSLFallSeries pic.twitter.com/WOtkm411jQ— Utah Royals FC (@UtahRoyalsFC) September 26, 2020
9’ - Goal, Utah. Murphy reads it well but can’t quite push it due to an awkward bounce. Reign need to clear it more cleanly.
Aminata Diallo— NWSL (@NWSL) September 26, 2020
1-0 | #UTAvRGN
Tune in now on @CBSAllAccess and @Twitch. #NWSLFallSeries | #VerizonCommunityShield pic.twitter.com/E1bc3kRZ6W
22’ - Ugh. Another giveaway gets Utah the ball back. King all-too-easily gets her head on this one. 2-0 Utah.
.@tziarra has W I N G S— NWSL (@NWSL) September 26, 2020
2-0 | #UTAvRGN
Tune in now on @CBSAllAccess and @Twitch.#NWSLFallSeries | #VerizonCommunityShield pic.twitter.com/i1WI6vojtw
23’ - Oh, what a dummy from Sofia Huerta! Balcer doesn’t miss and it’s 2-1 now!
The dummy and then the goal *chef's kiss* @bethanybalcer pulls a goal back for @OLReign!— NWSL (@NWSL) September 26, 2020
2-1 | #UTAvRGN
Tune in now on @CBSAllAccess and @Twitch. #NWSLFallSeries | #VerizonCommunityShield pic.twitter.com/4eQDONRI9F
28’ - What a ball from Shirley Cruz to Spencer. And what a hit from Rosie White. 2-2 now!
@rosiewhite13— NWSL (@NWSL) September 26, 2020
2-2 | #UTAvRGN
Tune in now on @CBSAllAccess and @Twitch.#NWSLFallSeries | #VerizonCommunityShield pic.twitter.com/X6i9AYrWW1
How to Watch
Time/Date: Saturday, September 26 | 12:30 PM PT
Where: Rio Tinto Stadium | Sandy, UT
Livestream (US/Canada): CBS All Access
Livestream (International): Twitch
Join the Discussion
This is your OL Reign v. Utah Royals gamethread. Watch with us, and follow @rovalks on Twitter for real-time updates and highlights.