Real Salt Lake (RSL) owner Dell Loy Hansen announced this morning that they are creating a women’s professional soccer team. The team will be a part of the 10-team National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and will launch in four months to start playing in the 2018 season. This team will replace FC Kansas City in the league.
Governor Gary Herbert welcomed the team to Utah and said he hopes it will bring unity and economic growth to the state. He quoted the musical Annie, saying the team is “gonna like it here.”
Hansen got emotional when he talked about the equality that the team will bring to Utah.
“It’s overwhelming. It’s been a dream of mine for seven years. I’ve got seven daughters,” he said. “We’ve got amazing talents to draw on, and we expect to train from seven on, all the way to the professional league – just like the men. We’re committed to equality in this program.”
Utah has no lack of women’s soccer talent – the state has six Division I women’s college soccer programs versus only one men’s. BYU’s own Ashley Hatch is a player in the NWSL for North Carolina Courage; the NSWL named her 2017 Rookie of the Year.
RSL officials have a name picked out, but said they aren’t ready to announce it yet because they are making sure there aren’t any legal issues with usage. The search for a coach starts with interviews in the next couple of days. As far as the roster goes, officials said they are still working on the details and wouldn’t say if it would consist of the FC Kansas City players. Home games will be held at the Rio Tinto stadium.
RSL will make many more announcements about this new team in the coming weeks.
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