With the FIFA Women’s World Cup starting Friday, all of the teams in the National Women’s Soccer League will have players in France vying to bring a title to their home countries. Utah Royals FC have a total of six players in the tournament — from four different nations.
The remaining players on Utah’s roster will have to hold down the fort while the internationals are gone. But that doesn’t mean that some players, and even coach Laura Harvey, will be left out of the World Cup experience.
Starting on Friday, Harvey, Amy Rodriguez and Vero Boquete will serve as soccer analysts during World Cup games broadcast on Fox 13 throughout the tournament, Fox 13 general manager Tim Ermish told The Salt Lake Tribune last week. Those three and others from the Royals will appear on various Fox 13 news shows to preview games and also provide postgame analysis.
“It might be the most inclusive expert analysis that we’ve ever done on a sport with team players,” Ermish said.
Rodriguez and Boquete have both played for national teams and competed in past World Cups. Rodriguez played in the 2011 and 2015 tournament, the latter of which U.S. won. Boquete also appeared in the 2015 World Cup with Spain, but her country did not make out of the group stage that season.
The 2019 World Cup opens on Friday and runs through July 7 and the United States Women’s National Team are favored to win this year, which would be a back-to-back championship after winning in Canada in 2015. The Tribune broke down and predicted the outcome of the entire tournament, with the Americans taking home the trophy once again.
Becky Sauerbrunn, Christen Press and Kelly O’Hara will represent the United States during the World Cup. Rachel Corsie is the captain for Scotland, Katie Bowen plays for New Zealand and Desiree Scott is on Canada’s national team. Fox 13 news director Marc Sternfield said the station has profile stories in the can with various players who will compete in the tournament.
“[We are] really trying to make sure that our audience knows that there are plenty of Royals FC players to watch in this tournament beyond the USA,” Sternfield said.
Harvey, Rodriguez and Boquete will be compensated for their television appearances, per a Royals spokesperson.
Getting members the Royals to be analysts during the World Cup was in the works as early as February, Ermish said.
“The expertise of these players and the experience of some of them playing on certain national teams, and the fact that they are right here in Utah ... it would be a crime if we didn't take advantage of it,” Ermish said.
Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 are content-sharing partners.