Just a week before the start of the 2018 NWSL pre-season, the Utah Royals FC announced that former FC Kansas City members - New Zealand international Katie Bowen, former U.S. National Team goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, 2014/15 NWSL champion Rebecca Moros, and Alex Arlitt - have signed with the club.
Here’s the roster for the start of the pre-season, which begins on Monday, February 19:
- Abby Smith*
- Nicole Barnhart
- Kelley O’Hara (U.S. National Team federation player)
- Brooke Elby*
- Sydney Miramontez
- Becca Moros
- Alex Arlitt
- Katie Bowen (New Zealand international)
- Becky Sauerbrunn (U.S. National Team federation player)
- Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir (Iceland International)
- Taylor Lytle
- Erika Tymrak
- Diana Matheson (Canada federation player)
- Lo’eau LaBonta
- Mandy Laddish
- Desiree Scott (Canada federation player)
- Alexa Newfield
- Katie Stengel*
- Meagan Kelly
- Brittany Ratcliffe
- Amy Rodriguez
Goalkeeper Cat Parkhill and midfielder Caroline Flynn have yet to confirm their plans for the season. Both were members of the Kansas City roster. Parkhill had a contract offered prior to the club ceasing operations, and Flynn exercised a contract option.
Though Utah inherited Kansas City’s roster, there have been significant trades and additions. Yael Averbuch was traded to Seattle for Matheson, Shea Groom and Christina Gibbons were traded to Sky Blue FC for O’Hara and Lytle, and Sydney Leroux went to Orlando for a 2019 college draft pick.
This is a roster, however, that head coach Laura Harvey has carefully crafted since she was hired in November.
In a club’s press release, Harvey said:
“When we were building the roster, it was important to make sure that we brought back balance and experience from the previous group...Adding all these players into the roster is an excellent example of this. They all have that experience and understand what it takes to be successful at this level.”
Utah’s roster is full of experience and already has the potential to become one of the dominant teams in the NWSL.