NWSL: Royals' depth will get early test

The Utah Royals opened play in the NWSL with a 1-1 tie at Orlando, a match they felt they should have won, and they head back on the road Friday for a game at Houston without two more starters.



U.S. national team veteran Kelley O’Hara (left hamstring strain) and Norwegian Elise Thorsnes (concussion), who both started on Saturday, are out. That leaves the Royals without six players, including Katrina Gorry, who is on international duty with Australia.

O'Hara played the entire game against the Pride, while Thorsnes left the game with a concussion after a collision with Ali Krieger. Also out are Alex Arlitt (left knee strain), Mandy Laddish (right hip contusion) and Amy Rodriguez (right knee), all on the 45-day disabled list.

A disputed handball call against Becky Sauerbrunn -- Royals coach Laura Harvey said the U.S star "literally has a Nike swoosh on her face" after the ball hit her -- was the difference three points and one for the Royals in their first game.

Utah keeper Abby Smith didn't have to make a save against the high-scoring Pride, which only managed one shot on target, Marta's equalizer from the penalty spot.

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