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2019 Royals Player Profiles: Raisa Strom-Okimoto

In a year where 2019 was kinder to rookies, Strom-Okimoto, a trialist, through time as a National Team Replacement player, eventually earned a contract.

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

Playing soccer after college was not in Raisa Strom-Okimoto’s plans, but then she received an invite from Utah Royals FC to try out during pre-season training camp and was a part of the pre-season roster, after a standout collegiate career at the University of Hawaii. During her senior season in 2018, Strom-Okimoto was awarded the Big West Conference Player of the Year, a first for University of Hawaii player.

When URFC lost players to the World Cup, Strom-Okimoto was signed on a National Team Replacement contract in place of Christen Press. She made her professional and Royals FC debut, coming on as a substitute for Mallory Weber in stoppage time of the second half in the 0-0 draw versus Portland. Her time on the field was only for a minute, but the following week, Strom-Okimoto played 14 minutes in the 2-0 loss to Reign FC.

As the National Team players returned, Strom-Okimoto’s time on the roster ended. However, her time as replacement player earned her a contract in the 2019 Supplemental Roster. As the season wrapped up, Strom-Okimoto made the 18 three times, seeing only two minutes during that time.

Overall, Strom-Okimoto completed 66.7% of her passes, winning 75% of her duels. Though her contributions to the team were minimal, we saw much potential for a young player in a time when 2019 was kinder to rookies as the league expanded roster spots for teams.

At the end of the season, Utah Royals FC offered a new contract to Strom-Okimoto. Should she accept, she could be in contention for a full-time roster spot.