Utah Royals FC announced today that five more players that the club had the rights to from the FC Kansas City roster have signed to play in Utah for 2018.
Forward Brittany Ratcliffe, midfielders Maegan Kelly, Alexa Newfield, and Lo’eau Labonta, and defender Sydney Miramontez are all expected to arrive in Utah within the next week as the team prepares for the February 19th opening of preseason training.
Ratcliffe, who just turned 24 on February 7th, scored 24 goals in 93 matches at the University of Virginia before being selected by the Boston Breakers in 2016. She only saw action in 15 matches for Boston before being waived, and then signed by FCKC for 2017 where she scored one goal in 22 appearances.
Kelly, 25, is a dual American/Canadian citizen who was selected by FCKC in the 2014 draft, but she was transferred to Icelandic club Stjarnan (Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir’s first professional club, coincidentally), where she scored 4 goals in 8 appearances. She moved on through Finland and Cyprus before returning to KC, scoring 5 goals last year in 22 matches. She also played for the U.S. U-23 WNT before transferring to play for Canada last year, where she has earned 3 caps so far for the senior side.
Newfield, 26, was a prolific scorer for Georgia and North Carolina in college, with a combined 38 goals in 81 matches. Drafted by KC in 2016, she saw action 8 times her first year with two starts, and then scored two goals in her 14 matches in 2017.
LaBonta, 24, was originally drafted by Sky Blue FC out of Stanford in 2015 but was waived mid-season to make room for players returning from the World Cup. She was signed by KC in 2016, and quickly earned the praise of head coach Vlatko Andonovski for her hard work in helping the team gain and keep possession, making her a valuable part of the starting lineup.
Miramontez, 23, followed her career at the University of Nebraska with a short stint with the GSI Pride club in suburban Kansas City near where she grew up in Lenexa, KS. Her performance there impressed enough that she was signed to the FCKC roster in August 2017, and made 5 appearances over the final months of the season.
The addition of 5 young talents who are familiar with the majority of the roster gives Laura Harvey a solid foundation for her first season in Utah. Having a good amount of continuity as the players from KC transition to Utah will serve the new club well as they implement the new coaching tactics, and integrate the new additions to the team in advance of the 2018 season.