Utah Royals to Return Subsequent Season as NWSL’s thirteenth Crew

Utah Royals to Return Subsequent Season as NWSL’s thirteenth Crew

The Royals are returning to Utah and the National Women’s Soccer League.

The NWSL and Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake introduced the second iteration of the Utah Royals on Saturday. The Royals have been a part of the NWSL for 3 seasons from 2018 to 2020.

“When we acquired Real Salt Lake final 12 months, we mentioned it was a matter of when, not if, the NWSL would return to Utah. This has all the time been an integral a part of our mission,” RSL co-owner David Blitzer mentioned in a ready assertion.

Michelle Hyncik, RSL’s basic counsel, was named president of the Royals. America First Credit Union would be the staff’s jersey sponsor.

When FC Kansas City, one of many NWSL’s founding golf equipment, folded in 2017, its gamers have been transferred to a brand new staff in Utah owned by Dell Loy Hansen, who additionally owned Real Salt Lake. The unique Royals folded in 2020 after Hansen relinquished possession of each golf equipment.

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In an interview with an area radio station, Hansen had criticized MLS gamers for supporting the Black Lives Matter motion and for protesting the August 2020 capturing by police of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. In the fallout from Hansen’s remarks, he introduced he would promote.

Chris and Angie Long, co-founders of Kansas-based Palmer Square Capital Management, acquired the Royals in late 2020 and moved the staff again to Kansas City.

The sale of the unique Royals stipulated that the patrons of Real Salt Lake would have rights to a future NWSL growth franchise for a set charge. Early final 12 months, MLS accredited the sale of RSL to Blitzer and Smith Entertainment Group, which additionally owns the NBA’s Utah Jazz,.

The NWSL is predicted so as to add one other staff for 2024, bringing the league to 14 groups. A future staff in Boston can be deliberate.

The Royals’ quick first tenure within the league was tainted by controversy. Coach Craig Harrington was placed on paid administrative go away in September 2020 and later dismissed for allegedly making inappropriate feedback.

NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman mentioned in July that the league would take into account a state’s stand on reproductive rights in awarding growth franchises.

Utah has near-total abortion ban that was triggered when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, however it’s presently blocked by a restraining order. It was unclear whether or not the state’s stance figured into discussions concerning the franchise.

AP freelancer Matthew Coles in Sandy, Utah, contributed to this report.

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