She keeps the ball, she’s comfortable in possession, she switches the point of attack, which is what we need. —Utah Royals FC head coach Laura Harvey, on Katrina Gorry
SANDY — As Utah Royals FC continues to try to find the offensive punch that will help it get its first-ever win, a key element in that may prove to be a recent arrival from the other side of the world.
Last Saturday on a night when United States Women’s National Team striker Amy Rodriguez scored her first goal for URFC after a yearlong ACL rehab in a 1-1 draw against Portland Thorns FC, Australian national team member Katrina Gorry also made her season debut and was similarly dynamic, giving hope that head coach Laura Harvey’s side will be capable of scoring enough throughout the remainder of the season to give its stout defense some more help.
Having gotten into Salt Lake City last Wednesday after spending the last few months with the Matildas helping them qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Gorry wasn’t sure if she’d play on Saturday, but Harvey subbed her in for Diana Matheson in the 62nd minute, and Gorry went to work, maintaining possession in URFC’s attacking third and putting pressure on the net.
“If I was coming in today, my aim was to change the game,” she said Saturday. “I tried to do that when I got on the ball, to spread the ball from side to side as much as I could and create goal-scoring opportunities, and hopefully you’ll see a bit more throughout the season of that.”
That ability to spread the ball from side to side is something Harvey is especially looking forward to seeing Gorry do as the campaign progresses.
“She keeps the ball, she’s comfortable in possession, she switches the point of attack, which is what we need,” the coach said. “She can play short and she can play long...she can shoot from distance and she can score from distance. We knew she couldn’t go for 90 (minutes) tonight, but I think in the altitude, getting 30 out of her was a real bonus.”
Off the field, Gorry is already familiar with a number of her new teammates who she’s either competed against internationally or on the club level in Australia, and she’s become fast friends with forward Elise Thorsnes.
“She’s calm with the ball, she has good passes, she can read the game and she’s a good finisher, so I think she has everything,” Thorsnes said after training on Tuesday. “You saw when she came on the field the other day, she changed the game, and I think she can do that every game from now on.”