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SANDY — Just five days before the inaugural game in franchise history, Utah Royals FC unveiled its full roster for the first week of the 2018 NWSL season.
A majority of the names announced by head coach Laura Harvey will be familiar to fans of the National Women's Soccer League and the now-defunct FC Kansas City, in particular. But two names stand out that didn’t make the final cut.
Utah draft picks Taylor Campbell Isom, the defender from Alta High and BYU, and goalkeeper E.J. Proctor were not named to the initial 24-player roster prior to the Royals’ first game Saturday at Orlando Pride.
The roster features two goalkeepers in Nicole Barnhart and Abby Smith, seven defenders that include team captain Becky Sauerbrunn and U.S. star Kelley O’Hara, 10 midfielders led by Icelandic international Gunny Jonsdottir and Australian international Katrina Gorry, and five forwards led by U.S. attacker Amy Rodriguez.
Of course, not every player will feature in Saturday’s match, and several won’t be immediately available for selection. Rodriguez (knee) and defender Alex Arlitt (knee) will both start the season on the 45-day disabled list, and Gorry will join the team in late April after Australia finishes 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying in Jordan.
The Royals signed one player Monday, inking well-regarded international and Scotland team captain Rachel Corsie to a multiyear contract. Corsie, who played for Harvey at Seattle Reign FC and joined the Royals a month ago as a non-roster trialist, joins Jonsdottir, Gorry, Maegan Kelly, Lo’eau LaBonta, Mandy Laddish, Taylor Lytle, Diana Matheson, Alexa Newfield, Desiree Scott and Erika Tymrak in the midfield.
BRB, learning a new chant 🎶 pic.twitter.com/ZINADUmaH8— Utah Royals FC (@UtahRoyalsFC) March 19, 2018
“Utah is a place where I had no expectation, no idea what it would be like, but it was a really exciting day when Laura called,” Corsie said. “I didn’t really know what to say when she asked me to come out to training camp, other than I would absolutely love to be there.
“It’s a privilege to just be asked here, and I’m excited to get started.”
Utah opens the season with back-to-back road games at Orlando and the Houston Dash before the team’s inaugural opener April 14 against the Chicago Red Stars. The club announced 4,000 season tickets have been sold for the club’s inaugural season, which will be played at Rio Tinto Stadium, the home of parent club Real Salt Lake.
Utah Royals FC 2018 roster
|Nicole Barnhart||GK||FC Kansas City|
|Abby Smith||GK||Boston Breakers|
|Becky Sauerbrunn||DF||FC Kansas City|
|Brooke Elby||DF||Boston Breakers|
|Sydney Miramontez||DF||FC Kansas City|
|Katie Bowen||DF||FC Kansas City|
|Alex Arlitt||DF||FC Kansas City|
|Rachel Corsie||DF||Seattle Reign FC|
|Kelley O’Hara||FW||Sky Blue FC|
|Katie Stengel||FW||Boston Breakers|
|Amy Rodriguez||FW||FC Kansas City|
|Brittany Ratcliffe||FW||FC Kansas City|
|Elise Thorsnes||FW||Canberra United (Australia)|
|Desiree Scott||MF||FC Kansas City|
|Taylor Lytle||MF||Sky Blue FC|
|Gunnhildur Jonsdottir||MF||Valerenga (Norway)|
|Diana Matheson||MF||Seattle Reign|
|Erika Tymrak||MF||FC Kansas City|
|Mandy Laddish||MF||FC Kansas City|
|Maegan Kelly||MF||FC Kansas City|
|Alexa Newfield||MF||FC Kansas City|
|Lo’eau Labonta||MF||FC Kansas City|
|Rebecca Moros||MF||FC Kansas City|
|Katrina Gorry||MF||Brisbane Roar (Australia)|