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Utah Royals FC releases its 2020 schedule; it’s front-loaded with difficulty

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Royals FC defender Becky Sauerbrunn (4) slides in for block on gaol as Utah Royals FC hosts the North Carolina Courage at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah on Saturday, July 27, 2019.

The Utah Royals FC released its 2020 season schedule Tuesday morning, and it will be in for some early challenges.

Four of the team’s first five games are on the road, starting with the season opener against the Portland Thorns on April 18. After the home opener the following week, the Royals play three straight road games away from Rio Tinto Stadium.

Utah had a stint of three consecutive road games in 2019, but it didn’t come until August. That stretch saw the Royals win two and draw one of those matchups as they were trying to get back in the playoff hunt.

In the month of May, the Royals play only one home game, and it’s against the always-feisty Thorns on May 22.

There’s another reason May could prove difficult for URFC. The team plays three games in eight days between May 22 and May 30. Home games bookend the quick sojourn to Reign FC on May 27. That’s the most compact stretch of the season.

The Royals face the defending champion North Carolina Courage for the first time July 10 on the road. After not losing to the Courage in 2018, Utah dropped two of the three games in 2019.

Starting in July, the Royals play five of eight games at Rio Tinto Stadium. Then they have three consecutive home games between Sept. 25 against the Washington Spirit and October 7 against Reign FC.

The final game of the 2020 season is on the road against Portland. It’s the first time in club history that the Royals close out the year on the road.

UTAH ROYALS FC 2020 SCHEDULE

All times MST


April 18 • at Portland Thorns, 8:30 p.m.

April 24 • Orlando Pride, 8 p.m.

May 2 • at Washington Spirit, 5 p.m.

May 9 • at Chicago Red Stars, 6 p.m.

May 16 • at Houston Dash, 6:30 p.m.

May 22 • Portland Thorns, 8 p.m.

May 27 • at Reign FC, 8 p.m.

May 30 • Chicago Red Stars, 1:30 p.m.

June 13 • Orlando Pride, 7:30 p.m.

June 20 • at Sky Blue FC, 3 p.m.

July 3 • Houston Dash, 8 p.m.

July 10 • at North Carolina Courage, 5 p.m.

July 18 • Washington Spirit, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 2 • at Orlando Pride, 3 p.m.

Aug. 8 • Reign FC, 5 p.m.

Aug. 14 • North Carolina Courage, 7:30 p.m.

Aug. 22 • at Houston Dash, 5 p.m.

Sept. 5 • Sky Blue FC, 5 p.m.

Sept. 13 • at North Carolina Courage, 3 p.m.

Sept. 25 • Washington Spirit, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 30 • Chicago Red Stars, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 7 • Reign FC, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 • at Sky Blue FC, 3 p.m.

Oct. 18 • at Portland Thorns, 1:30 p.m.

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