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Allison Niccum
Utah Royals FC and the BYU women's soccer team scrimmaged at the Zions Bank Real Academy on Saturday, March 3, 2018.
We can’t wait to go. From a coaching perspective, I’m really looking forward to that. —Utah Royals head coach Laura Harvey

Having put in their first three weeks of training as a new team, splitting time between the indoor Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman and the outdoor America First Field in Sandy, the Utah Royals are hitting the road.

The Royals will spend this week training in Southern California, where they’ll scrimmage against the UCLA Bruins on Friday morning like they did against the BYU Cougars March 3.

Most notably, Royals head coach Laura Harvey is looking forward to finally having most of her team available, as a bunch of key players have been away on international duty for the first three weeks of preseason.

Normally players go back and forth between their NWSL and national teams this time of year, but most who have been on international duty have been gone for the duration.

“That’s just been really tough, but it is what it is,” Harvey said. “They’re good players, and they play for their countries for a reason. We can’t wait to go. From a coaching perspective, I’m really looking forward to that.”

Harvey said training on the road and thus being together all the time will allow everything to go “super quick,” from working to build team chemistry to tactical work to watching video.

Although Harvey was looking forward to the prospect of nicer weather in Southern California, it might not hold up quite as she was hoping. Similar to Salt Lake, the forecast is calling for warm temperatures the first half of the week before turning stormy the latter half.

The Bruins are primed to be good competition for Utah, as the perennially strong program made it to the national championship game last fall before losing to Stanford and has a bunch of key players returning.