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Royals show growth in new system as Sky Blue search for answers

Bryan Byerly/ISI Photos

Craig Harrington entered the 2020 National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup in unique waters. As the first-year head coach at Utah Royals FC, a club picked by many to challenge for the bottom position on the table, Harrington ran a real risk of going through his first season without winning a match.

Farid Benstiti, the new OL Reign coach, was in a similar boat. But Benstiti has coached major Euopean teams and won trophies. Harrington is just now rising to be a head coach after serving under Rory Dames in Chicago.

Saturday morning at Zions Bank Stadium, Harrington’s wait for an NWSL win came to an end. In fact, the 1-0 win over Sky Blue FC joins with last week’s wild, 3-3 draw against the Houston Dash to have Harrington and the Royals unbeaten and on four points halfway through the tournament’s preliminary round.

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