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Jacob Wiegand, Deseret News

Utah Royals announce 24-player roster prior to inaugural game at Orlando

By Sean Walker, | Posted - Mar. 19, 2018 at 8:56 p.m.

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

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.

“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

Name Pos Previous club
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)
24-player Week 1 roster

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