Utah Royals FC

Utah Royals FC is an American women's professional soccer club based in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy, Utah, which plays in the National Women's Soccer League, the top flight of American women's soccer. The club was established on December 1, 2017, and began their first professional season in 2018.

Utah Royals FC
Full nameUtah Royals Football Club
FoundedDecember 1, 2017 (2017-12-01)
StadiumRio Tinto Stadium
Sandy, Utah
Capacity20,213
OwnerDell Loy Hansen
General ManagerStephanie Lee
Head CoachLaura Harvey
LeagueNational Women's Soccer League
WebsiteClub website

History

Establishment

On November 16, 2017, Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer announced that it had acquired a franchise in the National Women's Soccer League.[1] On November 20, 2017, the league announced that FC Kansas City of the National Women's Soccer League would fold their club, and the team's player contracts, draft picks, and other rights would be transferred to the new Salt Lake City club.[2] As of August 2017, Utah's six Division 1 women's soccer teams outnumber the men's[3][4] and the state has the highest rate of girl high school soccer players recruited by Division 1 colleges.[5] Attendance at Division 1 women's soccer games in Utah is among the highest in the NCAA.[5] The decision to bring a NWSL team to Utah was based on the established interest in mens soccer in the state as well as Dell Loy Hansen's gut feeling and longtime interest in a team.[5]=

The new Salt Lake City team announced its hiring of former Seattle Reign FC coach Laura Harvey as its inaugural head coach on November 27, 2017.[6]

Team name, badge, and colors unveiled

The team was officially launched on December 1, 2017 with the announcements of its name, branding, season tickets, and social media.[7] The badge features a gold Lioness head and “Claret Red”, “Cobalt Blue” and “Victory Gold” colors. Two stylized balls surround the name “UTAH ROYALS FC” in the lower half of the badge which represent the team's connection to the organization's MLS and United Soccer League teams.[8] Rio Tinto Stadium was named as the team's playing ground.[9] By the end of December 2017 over 2,000 season tickets had been sold.[10] By early April 2018, the number of season tickets sold had increased to 5,000.[11]

Inaugural season

Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir scored the first goal in franchise history on March 24, 2018 in the third minute of the club's inaugural match against Orlando Pride in Orlando.[12] 18,500 tickets were sold ahead of their first home match (with only club seats and standing-only tickets remaining).[13] Official attendance the day of the match, in which they played the Chicago Red Stars, was reported as 19,203.[14]

Sponsorship

In February 2018, the Royals announced a three-year multimillion-dollar deal with Conservice, a utility company based in Logan, Utah.[15] The company's logo is featured on the front of the team's jerseys.[16] Utah announced a multi-year partnership deal with Young Living Essential Oils on April 2, 2019. The Young Living partnership will include an original video series called ‘Rise up to Royalty’ which profiles URFC players personal lives. This 12-episode series, will run throughout the course of the 2019 season. [17]

Stadium

Name Location Years in use Capacity
Rio Tinto Stadium Sandy, Utah 2018–present 20,213

Utah Royals FC play at Rio Tinto Stadium located 15 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City in Sandy, Utah, as the men's team, Real Salt Lake, does.[7] Rio Tinto is a soccer-specific stadium which opened on October 9, 2008.[18] The pitch features Kentucky Bluegrass[19] and is 120 × 75 yards.[20] The stadiums seats 20,213 for soccer matches.[20]

Players and coaches

Current squad

As of August 5, 2019.[21]
No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Abby Smith  United States
2 Defender Rachel Corsie  Scotland
3 Defender Becca Moros  United States
4 Defender Becky Sauerbrunn (captain)  United States
5 Defender Kelley O'Hara  United States
6 Defender Katie Bowen  New Zealand
7 Midfielder Mandy Laddish  United States
8 Forward Amy Rodriguez  United States
9 Midfielder Lo'eau LaBonta  United States
10 Midfielder Diana Matheson  Canada
11 Midfielder Desiree Scott  Canada
12 Midfielder Taylor Lytle  United States
13 Midfielder Makenzy Doniak  United States
14 Defender Gaby Vincent  United States
15 Forward Erika Tymrak  United States
17 Defender Sydney Miramontez  United States
18 Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart  United States
19 Defender Michelle Maemone  United States
20 Forward Mallory Weber  United States
21 Midfielder Verónica Boquete  Spain
22 Defender Madeline Nolf  United States
23 Forward Christen Press  United States
24 Forward Katie Stengel  United States
25 Forward Brittany Ratcliffe  United States
42 Forward Raisa Strom-Okimoto  United States
66 Midfielder Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir  Iceland
Goalkeeper Melissa Lowder  United States

Coaching staff

Position Name
Head coach Laura Harvey
Assistant coach Scott Parkinson
Assistant coach Amy LePeilbet
Goalkeeping coach Jason Batty

Statistics and records

Season-by-season

As of September 29, 2019
Season NWSL Finals Top Scorer
P W D L GF GA Pts Position Player Goals
2018 24 9 8 7 22 23 35 5th Did not qualify Katie Stengel 6
2019 23 9 4 10 23 24 31 6th Did not qualify Amy Rodriguez 8

Head coaches record

As of September 29, 2019
Name Nationality Tenure P W D L GF GA Win%
Laura Harvey  England December 1, 2017–Present 47 18 12 17 45 47 038.30

Broadcasting

The Utah Royals announced that all matches in 2018, except for their six NWSL Game of the Week appearances on Lifetime, would be broadcast locally on KMYU My Utah TV and streamed on the KSL app, as an extension of the broadcast rights agreements with Sinclair Broadcast Group and KSL with Real Salt Lake.[22] KALL ESPN 700 would carry the majority of Royals games on local radio – as it does for Real Salt Lake and Real Monarchs.[22] On August 17, 2018, KSL announced that Utah Royals games would no longer be broadcast on television or radio, but they would continue to be streamed on the KSL website and app. [23]

See also

References

  1. Torres, Maria (November 16, 2017). "Announcement of new team in Salt Lake means women's pro soccer is likely done in KC". Kansas City Star. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  2. Torres, Maria (November 20, 2017). "FC Kansas City women's soccer team folds, NWSL sends players to Salt Lake City". Kansas City Star. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  3. "Utah's only Division 1 men's soccer program taking shape at UVU | KSL.com". Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  4. Coon, John (July 12, 2008). "De-flated: With soccer popular among boys, why only one NCAA-sanctioned men's team in Utah?". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  5. "Can the new women's pro soccer team generate a following in Utah?". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  6. Lee, Maddie (November 27, 2017). "Real Salt Lake hires Laura Harvey to coach new women's soccer team". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  7. "Utah Royals FC unveils name, identity for 2018 NWSL season". Real Salt Lake. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  8. "Newest NWSL club Utah Royals FC unveils crest, social media presence – Equalizer Soccer". Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  9. "Utah Royals: Logo, season ticket prices announced". RSL Soapbox. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  10. "Utah Royals are off to a fast start at the box office". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  11. McDonald, Ryan (April 11, 2018). "A look at the fans who will be backing Utah Royals FC as its home debut draws near". DeseretNews.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  12. "The Iceland international who scored the first goal in Utah Royals history is making an immediate impact in the NWSL". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  13. "Utah Royals sell out Rio Tinto Stadium for their inaugural home game against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  14. Ltd, Simplestream. "Utah Royals FC vs. Chicago Red Stars". www.nwslsoccer.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  15. "Utah Royals land Conservice as jersey sponsor". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  16. "Utah Royals ink jersey deal with Utah company Conservice; release secondary kit". RSL Soapbox. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  17. "URFC Announces Multi-Year Deal With Young Living Essential Oils". April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  18. "RSL confirms Oct. 9 stadium opening". The Salt Lake Tribune. August 5, 2008. Archived from the original on September 30, 2008. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  19. "Real Salt Lake: Long-awaited field renovation underway at Rio Tinto Stadium". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  20. "Rio Tinto Stadium | Sandy, UT 84070 | Salt Lake City Sports". Visit Salt Lake. Retrieved January 4, 2018.
  21. "Utah Royals FC Promotes Three Players". July 24, 2019. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  22. "Utah Royals FC Unveils Inaugural Season Broadcast Options". March 22, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  23. "Broadcast changes coming for Utah Royals FC's final 3 matches". August 17, 2018. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
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