MAKING MAGIC — If you haven't gotten in to soccer, now is a good time.
The Beautiful Game is prominent on the Wasatch Front, with three teams under the Real Salt Lake pyramid (Utah Royals FC, Real Monarchs) in the throughs of the season right now — plus fourth-division sides in Ogden and Park City getting ready for the summer.
If you watch the Royals, for example, say hi to U.S. international Christen Press for us.
Here's why (and as always, click the video above for all of our Great Clips of the Week).
Press Magic 👸
Christen Press has scored a lot of goals in her international career — so many that a highlight list of them all would probably break this post on the internet.
But she needs to add her first goal of the 2019 NWSL season to the list.
Press' goal just before the 20th minute against Orlando proved to be the game winner, lifting Utah Royals FC to a 1-0 victory over the Pride and a 2-0 record for six points early in the club's sophomore season.
You've probably seen it before. But give it another look.
Seriously, the whole thing is just perfect. From rookie fullback Michelle Maemone's beatnik cross from the left side, to the way Press extends one leg to corral the pass in a way that would've been called high sticking if the Royals were playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs instead of Saturday night's NWSL action, to the spin-cycle and finish inside the left post.
With goals like that, Press is guaranteed to feature into U.S. coach Jill Ellis' final roster for this summer's Women's World Cup in France. The final roster should be announced this week, and Utah is likely to lose Press, team captain Becky Sauerbrunn and winger Kelley O'Hara to international duty.
Web gems at Smith's Ballpark 🐝
Look, we get it; dingers get a lot of love in baseball highlight shows.
As the poet once said, chicks dig the long ball, after all.
But the Salt Lake Bees and Albuquerque Isotopes put on a show of defense during this past weekend’s series.
Take, for example, Taylor Ward’s ridiculous long-range sliding catch near the left-field line Sunday afternoon.
How about a defensive highlight? Taylor Ward goes a long way in left field to snag this one pic.twitter.com/x3fQozTjI5— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) April 28, 2019
Of course, it wasn’t the only highlight Ward had in the series (yes, we had to include at least one homer).
We are over 6 hours into this doubleheader but we aren't ready to go home yet. Extras on tap for game 2 thanks to Taylor Ward pic.twitter.com/UPBUOBZ0KD— Salt Lake Bees (@SaltLakeBees) April 28, 2019
But for balance’s sake, Albuquerque’s Elliott Soto had this ridiculous web gem in Saturday’s late, late, late tip.
ELLIOT SOTO with the WebGem to keep the Mariachis lead at 10-8 in the 4th inning! pic.twitter.com/AT05gUYOWk— Albuquerque Isotopes (@ABQTopes) April 28, 2019
The Bees went 2-3 during the five-game series, including a 14-8 victory Sunday in the series finale, by the way. Salt Lake will host the Tacom Rainiers in a four-game series beginning Monday at 6:35 p.m. MDT.
For Pete's sake 😘
And finally, the NFL draft was last week with three days and seven rounds that saw the latest round of college football players over up to the NFL. For a full list of local players getting a shot at The League, click here.
Seattle was a popular destination for the Utes, including Marquise Blair and Cody Barton, and it’s easy to see why players want to play for Pete Carroll. Just look at his reaction when the extremely-well-cut D.K. Metcalf (and internet ab-meme) meets his head coach for the first time.
"It kind of pissed me off, so I took my shirt off too," Carroll joked with reporters over the weekend. "Not for long, though."
To quote Jim Harbaugh: What's your deal, Pete? What's your deal?