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Utah Royals’ bold experiment

In each of their three 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup games, Utah Royals FC have come out with three in the backline. This is a first for the Royals and also quite uncommon among NWSL teams. In preparation for the final match of the round-robin and elimination play, let’s take a look at just what this means for the Royals and see if it is just another failed experiment, or if it has legs to survive.

Is it really just three defensive players?

When on a defensive footing, strangely enough, a back three is functionally not all that different from a back four.