Lindon native, Utah alum Carly Nelson takes 'mental health leave' from Utah Royals

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Royals goalkeeper Carly Nelson announced Wednesday on Instagram she is "taking mental health leave" from the team after being listed on the team's injury report as an "excused absence" since May 3.

Nelson is a native of Lindon and spent four years at the University of Utah. She joined the Royals via trade from the Orlando Pride during the offseason and started in Utah's first game this season when starter Mandy Haught was suspended.

"I love this game with everything in me, but at the end of the day, it's just soccer," Nelson said on her Instagram story. "It began bleeding into my personal life and poisoning my love for the game. To me, that cost is far too high for me to continue."

Nelson clarified that she is not retiring, but "just resting for a bit."

Fellow Royals teammate Imani Dorsey took a similar excused absence due to mental health concerns during the 2023 season with Gotham FC before taking the field again with Utah this year.

"When I took a step back ... I didn't know if I would return," Dorsey said in an Instagram post. "But I am grateful to say my time away helped me rediscover what I love about this sport — competing, being active, and being a part of a team — and am now so excited to continue playing."

Paid mental health leave was part of the NWSL's first-ever collective bargaining agreement signed in 2022. Before the CBA, mental illness was not regarded as a physical injury and would not be paid.

"As a club, Utah Royals FC and Real Salt Lake fully support Carly and her decision to step away from the team to focus on her mental health," Utah said in a statement to "URFC and the NWSL will continue to provide the resources she and others need."

Most recent Real Salt Lake stories

Related topics

Real Salt LakeSports
Caleb Turner covers Real Salt Lake as the team's beat writer for, in addition to his role where he oversees the sports team's social media accounts.


From first downs to buzzer beaters, get’s top sports stories delivered to your inbox weekly.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast