NWSL expansion Utah Royals trade for former BYU star Mikayla Cluff

Wed, Nov 15, 2023
Soccer News (AP)

NWSL expansion Utah Royals trade for former BYU star Mikayla Cluff

HERRIMAN, Utah (AP) - The Utah Royals have traded for midfielder Mikayla Cluff, making the former BYU standout the National Women's Soccer League expansion team's first rostered player.

The Royals acquired Cluff and the No. 26 pick in the 2024 NWSL draft from the Orlando Pride in exchange for $90,000 in allocation money and expansion protection.

Cluff, a native of Kaysville, Utah, was the No. 14 pick in the 2021 NWSL draft. In two seasons with Orlando, she has four goals and an assist in 51 appearances.

"While I've enjoyed my time in Orlando over the last two seasons, I'm extremely excited to return to play in my hometown and bring back this Club for the state and for the fans," Cluff said in a statement Wednesday.

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Cluff helped lead BYU to the 2021 national championship game and was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year three times.

The Royals begin play in 2024, along with Bay FC, an expansion team in the San Francisco Bay Area, that will bring the women's professional league to 14 teams.

Utah was awarded the expansion team in March. It will be the second iteration of the Royals, who were part of NWSL for three seasons from 2018 to 2020. Chris and Angie Long, co-founders of Kansas-based Palmer Square Capital Management, acquired the team, moving it to Kansas City and renaming it the Current.

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