Utah Royals FC have acquired Elizabeth Ball and 100,000 in allocation money from the Portland Thorns in exchange for U.S. international defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Utah will receive additional allocation money if future conditions are met.
Ball, 24, was a defender for the Thorns for two seasons making 23 appearances, 16 of them were in the 2019 season, with 14 being starts.
In a press release, Utah Royals head coach Craig Harrington said: “Elizabeth (Ball) offers us real defending adaptability and options. She has shown in the past that she can play a variety of positions and her versatility allows us to be flexible to a lot of formations.”
Sauerbrunn heads to Portland after being the first-ever signing in Utah Royals FC history and captaining the side for both of her seasons with Utah.
Utah Royals FC play in Portland on April 18 to open the 2020 season.
This trade adds yet another young player to the Utah roster. With the retirement of Erika Tymrak and Mandy Laddish, Utah has already lost some veteran leadership; with Sauerbrunn leaving as well, Utah has a lot of young players. This will be something to keep an eye on in 2020, if the young side with a new coach is able to fight their way into the playoffs for the first time.