Utah Royals FC Adds Three Players Via Trades With North Carolina, San Diego

Nov 20, 2023, 5:40 PM

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SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Royals FC organization acquired a pair of players from the North Carolina Courage and another from San Diego Wave FC ahead of the NWSL trade deadline.

Utah Royals trade for three players

The transactions were announced by the club on Monday, November 20.

Utah received midfielders Emily Gray and Francesca “Frankie” Tagliaferri from the Courage. The Royals acquired the duo in exchange for $30,000 in allocation money and expansion protection.

“Both Kelly (Cousins, URFC Sporting Director) and myself are excited to welcome Emily and Frankie to the Club,” Royals head coach Amy Rodriguez said in a statement. “I have no doubt that these players will put their blood, sweat and tears into this team. As we build Utah Royals FC from scratch, these are precisely the type of players that you want – ones that will bring not just talent but also a relentlessness to roll up their sleeves up and get to work.”

“I’m really excited for this opportunity to further my career with the Utah Royals,” Gray said of the trade. “Obviously, Amy Rodriguez is a proven winner, and I’m looking forward to her leadership, to being coached by her and achieving great things at this Club. I cannot wait to arrive in Utah and get things started.”

“I’m extremely excited for everything this opportunity has to offer, to go somewhere new to test my abilities and play soccer with another amazing club, learning from new players & staff,” said Tagliaferri. “I’ve seen and heard so many amazing things about the Utah Royals club, they’ve handled everything so awesomely, the facilities are top-notch and obviously Amy is amazing. Growing up, I watched her closely – she was a favorite player of mine, winning gold medals and playing in World Cups, displaying grit and determination and so much heart. Talking to her now, I can feel how excited she is to build this roster, to prepare us to be successful as we kick off new eras – individually and collectively – in Utah.”

In addition to the trade with North Carolina, the Royals brought in defender Kaleigh Riehl on a deal with San Diego.

The Royals acquired Riehl in exchange for $60,000 in allocation money and expansion protection.

“Both Kelly (Cousins, URFC Sporting Director) and myself are excited to welcome Riehl to the Club,” Rodriguez said of the deal with the Wave. “I have no doubt that these players will put their blood, sweat and tears into this team. As we build Utah Royals FC from scratch, these are precisely the type of players that you want – ones that will bring not just talent but also a relentlessness to roll up their sleeves up and get to work.”

“I’m incredibly excited to join Utah Royals FC – I can’t wait to bring women’s professional soccer back to Utah,” said Riehl. “Amy Rodriguez has an immense amount of knowledge and experience in the game and I can’t wait to learn from her and her staff. I’m looking forward to competing with my teammates every day and contributing to this Club in any and every way I can. I’m also looking forward to getting to know the city, the fans and the community – everyone who makes this place special.”

The Royals will return to action in 2024. The league’s expansion draft will take place on Friday, December 15. Utah owns the No. 1 overall pick.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. He’s also co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on X/Twitter (@kyleireland), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl), and Threads (@kyleirelandksl).

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Utah Royals FC Adds Three Players Via Trades With North Carolina, San Diego