When the newly-formed Utah Royals FC added a 28-year-old defender from Scotland to the training camp roster, some supporters of the Golden Lionesses might have felt confused at first. The team had Becky Sauerbrunn, Katie Bowen, Sydney Miramontez, and draft pick Taylor Isom, and seemed pretty solid at center back for their inaugural campaign.
As is often the case, Laura Harvey knew something we didn’t.
Already familiar with Rachel Corsie from their time together with Seattle Reign FC, Harvey brought in the experienced defender and Scotland WNT captain to form a formidable tandem in the middle of the URFC defense, dispelling any questions that might have surrounded her previous injuries. Corsie was on the field for all 24 matches in 2018, starting 23 and playing very effectively as the holding midfielder in front of Sauerbrunn and Sam Johnson in her lone substitution appearance.
Corsie’s form was incredible this season, providing reliability and great awareness in preventing opposing teams from scoring goals as part of the third-best defense in the league. The backline was responsible for many of the wins and draws this past year, and contributed to supporting what eventually was a low-scoring team in their pursuit of making the playoffs in their first season.
Rachel’s impressive display for her club translated into her success on the international level as well, as Scotland qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time. Though the absence of both central defenders this summer will be a big challenge for the Royals in 2019, we couldn’t be more proud of all Corsie has achieved and look forward to a great season in victory gold for our Scottish international.