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SANDY — Utah Royals FC added four players from the now-defunct Boston Breakers to the club’s inaugural roster via Tuesday’s dispersal draft.
By Friday morning, they learned one of FC Kansas City’s biggest stars won’t be joining them.
U.S. international forward and World Cup champion Sydney Leroux Dwyer is headed to the Orlando Pride, where she will join Orlando City record-breaking forward and husband Dom Dwyer in Central Florida.
In exchange, Utah received the Pride’s first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL college draft. It’s the same pick that Orlando acquired from the Seattle Reign via a trade for the dispersal draft.
"It felt like a really long time coming," Leroux told Orlando City PR in a video. "I knew as soon as Dom got traded that we wanted to play in the same city together. Orlando’s the perfect place to do it. It’s the perfect place to raise a family. We’re just super excited that we’re all here together."
In Orlando, Leroux will play with former BYU striker and Brighton High product Nadia Gomes. The former West Coast Conference player of the year is expected to transition to a position on the wing or at outside back for the Pride.
Leroux played one season with FC Kansas City, missing another as a signed player due to pregnancy and the birth of her son. She made 23 appearances for the Blues in 2017, notching six goals and two assists.
Like all FCKC players, Leroux’s rights were acquired by the Royals when the club ceased operations days after Utah joined the league. While former teammates like Becky Sauerbrunn and Erika Tymrak chose the move to the Wasatch Front, Leroux has opted to take her 23 career goals and join her family in Florida.
The Royals selected three active players from Boston via Tuesday’s dispersal draft, adding Brooke Elby, Katie Stengel and goalkeeper Abby Smith.
Elby played in 13 matches with the Breakers in 2017, totaling more than 800 minutes, and also spent time on loan with the Melbourne Victory in Australia’s W-League.
Stengel helped the United States U-20 women’s national team win the 2012 World Cup, scoring three goals for the side. She earned her first full-team cap while a senior at Wake Forest, becoming the first player in Demon Deacon program history to do so.
Smith, a native of Plano, Texas, and former Texas standout, was the second-most active goalkeeper in the NWSL in 2017 with 85 saves. A U.S. youth international, she scored three goals in her career with the Longhorns, including a game-winning goal on a 90-yard punt that briefly went viral.
The moves bring the Royals' inaugural roster to 14 players, in addition to the rights acquired from Kansas City that have not been announced.
Utah opens the preseason Feb. 19 in Herriman.
Utah Royals FC 2018 roster
|Becky Sauerbrunn||DF||FC Kansas City|
|Desiree Scott||MF||FC Kansas City|
|Taylor Lytle||MF||Sky Blue FC|
|Kelley O’Hara||FW||Sky Blue FC|
|Gunnhildur Jonsdottir||MF||Valerenga (Norway)|
|Diana Matheson||MF||Seattle Reign|
|Nicole Barnhart||GK||FC Kansas City|
|Taylor Campbell Isom||DF||BYU|
|Erika Tymrak||MF||FC Kansas City|
|Mandy Laddish||MF||FC Kansas City|
|Brooke Elby||DF||Boston Breakers|
|Katie Stengel||FW||Boston Breakers|
|Abby Smith||GK||Boston Breakers|