Christen Press made her debut with the Utah Royals, but the club couldn’t push past defensive-focused Seattle Reign and settled for a 0-0 draw.
Press played a full 90 minutes and formed a dangerous combination with Utah scoring threat Amy Rodriguez, forcing some defensive adjustments by Seattle that put an emphasis on keeping a clean sheet rather than scoring.
Coach Laura Harvey said she could not tell it had been a long time since Press had played a full match and the forward said she didn’t feel any adverse impact from competing at high altitude during the match.
“She’s a threat,” Harvey said of Press.
Utah generated 18 shots, including six on goal, but goalkeeper Michelle Betos and the Reign denied every scoring opportunity.
“Of course I’m disappointed in the result,” Press said. “As a forward, a 0-0 scoreline is incredibly disappointing. I take that personally. It’s my job to finish chances. So we go back to the drawing board. We have two days and then we get to play again. That’s the upside.”
Harvey said she was pleased her team was frustrated by the result and wants them to use it as motivation ahead of a home match Saturday against Sky Blue FC.
“There’s no draw in this league I’ve been happy with and this was probably the most disappointing because of the amount of chances,” Harvey said.
The Royals (4-3-6, 18 points) remain in sixth place in the NWSL table, while the Royals are tied for third (5-3-5, 20 points).