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2018 Player Profiles: Katie Bowen

The New Zealand international shifted to the defense and filled in the role admirably.

Lucas Muller - RSL Soapbox

Katie Bowen was one of the players Utah acquired from the folding of FC Kansas City in the very early days of the club. In her time in KC, she played a pretty similar role to the one she first played in Utah as a defensive midfielder. Although Bowen is technically named as a midfielder, Utah Royals FC head coach Laura Harvey regularly had her playing defense because of the injury to Kelley O’Hara. Prior to O’Hara’s injury, Bowen would play defensive midfielder, but when O’Hara was injured and out for the majority of the season, Bowen was forced to shift to the defensive side and fill in for that role.

In 2018, Bowen had 19 appearances, 16 of those being starts. Bowen made 28 clearances and had 49 interceptions in 1,433 minutes. Bowen was a pretty consistent starter for Laura Harvey’s side, especially in the latter half of the season. Had O’Hara not been injured, she likely still would have played a defensive midfield role.

Due to the more defensive position Bowen played this year, this would be one of her least productive years as far as goals and assists go, but she also was also capable of being dangerous on the attack when playing more in the midfield. She did this a lot for Kansas City in 2017.

It is expected that Bowen will return to Utah in 2018. The club announced early in the off-season that her contract option had been exercised.

Bowen is currently not one of the many Royals playing in Australia because she is playing with her national team. New Zealand’s Women’s National team is in the OFC Women’s Cup attempting to qualify for the 2019 World Cup in France. New Zealand has qualified for the knockout round of this tournament. Should New Zealand go on to win the whole tournament, they will qualify for the World Cup and Olympics.