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Utah Royals FC Officially Welcomes Five Additions to 2018 NWSL Roster

February 8, 2018 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - Utah Royals FC News Release

SANDY, Utah (Thursday, February, 8, 2018) - Utah Royals FC have added a quintet of NWSL veterans to its inaugural preseason roster, as MF Meagan Kelly, FW Brittany Ratcliffe, MF Alexa Newfield, DF Sydney Miramontez and MF Lo'eau Labonta will officially arrive in Utah next week, General Manager Craig Waibel and Head Coach Laura Harvey announced today.

"When we were building the roster, it was important to make sure that we brought back balance and experience from the previous group," said Harvey, noting the group's combined years of NWSL title-winning experience and history of international-caliber competition deepen the club's core, on and off the field. "Adding all these players into the roster is an excellent example of this. They all have that experience and understand what it takes to be successful at this level."

Joining the Utah Royals FC is dual American/Canadian citizen and MF Meagan Kelly, originally drafted by FC Kansas City during the 2014 NWSL College Draft. She later transferred to UMF Stjarnan in Iceland, where the Marquette product played in eight games and scored four goals before moving on to Finland to play in the Naisten Liga in 2015. Kelly returned to FC Kansas City last season, appearing in 22 games, netting five goals. Despite playing for the United States at the U-23 level, Kelly later made her international debut for Canada's senior team in November, 2017, appearing in three games, registering one assist against Norway.

The Utah Royals FC also added FW Brittany Ratcliffe, a University of Virginia product that played in almost every college game of her career, scoring 24 goals. Ratcliffe was drafted by Boston in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, where she made 15 appearances and scored two goals as a rookie. In 2017, Ratcliffe made the move to the 2014/2015 NWSL cup champions, FC Kansas City, where she appeared in 22 games, scoring once.

MF Alexa Newfield also brings in a goal-scoring resume to the side, amassing 38 goals in her college career for acclaimed NCAA powerhouses Georgia and North Carolina. Drafted by FC Kansas City in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, Newfield made eight appearances and two starts in her debut season. Newfield's first goals as a professional came a year ago, scoring the game-winner against the Washington Spirit, and later adding a second goal against the Seattle Reign FC.

DF Sydney Miramontez adds another American athlete who arrives in Utah after a successful collegiate career at the University of Nebraska. Starting in 48 of her 75 NCAA appearances, Miramontez scored six goals for the Cornhuskers. She was named second-team All-Big Ten and to the Big Ten tournament team in 2016, leading the school in assists (7), and scoring one goal. In 2017, FC Kansas City signed Miramontez off the street, the Lenexa, Kansas native playing in five matches as a professional rookie a year ago. In 2017, she was invited to participate in the U.S. U-23 training camp, her first exposure to the National Team program.

Stanford MF Lo'eau Labonta is also now signed with Utah Royals FC for the club's 2018 season. The Cardinal midfielder appeared in 80 games, scoring 22 goals during her four-year college campaign. She was drafted by Sky Blue FC in the 2015 NWSL draft, making six appearances for the club as a rookie. Labonta earned a starting position in the NWSL after signing with FC Kansas City in May, 2016, appearing in 33 games the next two seasons, scoring twice. Labonta - currently on loan with the Australian club Western Sydney Wanderers - will move to Utah mid-February in advance of the club's inaugural preseason camp.

Player: Maegan Kelly

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5 foot 5

Date of Birth: February 19, 1992

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

Previous Club: FC Kansas City

Player: Brittany Ratcliffe

Position: Forward

Height: 5 foot 4

Date of Birth: February 7, 1994

Hometown: Williamstown, New Jersey

Previous Club: FC Kansas City

Player: Alexa Newfield

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5 foot 3

Date of Birth: December 3, 1991

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Previous Club: FC Kansas City

Player: Sydney Miramontez

Position: Defender

Height: 5 foot 7

Date of Birth: October 11, 1994

Hometown: Lenexa, Kansas

Previous Club: FC Kansas City

Player: Lo'eau Labonta

Position: Midfielder

Height: 5 foot 1

Date of Birth: March 18, 1993

Hometown: Rancho Cucamonga, California

Previous Club: FC Kansas City

Utah Royals FC kick off its inaugural campaign with road games on the weekends of both March 24 and March 31 prior to an international break in early April, finally christening its Rio Tinto Stadium home on Saturday, April 14 at 1:30 p.m. MT (opponent TBD).

Preparations for the NWSL's sixth season commence locally in Herriman, Utah one week from Monday, on February 19, when the club's available preseason roster convenes for its initial sessions at the world-class Zions Bank Training Center.

Season tickets for the 2018 Utah Royals FC season - kicking off the weekends of March 24 and 31 on the road prior to the club's April 14 inaugural game at Rio Tinto Stadium - are now on sale via www.RSL.com/NWSL or by calling 844.Real.Tix.

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