Broken Utah Royals FC Hearts Reminisce On Historic Moments
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Many local Utah soccer fans are mourning the loss of their beloved Utah Royals FC today. It was officially announced that the Royals will be leaving Utah for flatter grounds in Kansas City after a three-year stint in the mountains.
The moments in time that captivated this proud state stand tall. The good that came from having the Royals involved within the community was special, those moments are worth cherishing and remembering.
The First Game
Arguably the biggest moment in Women’s soccer club history came when the Royals and Chicago Fire walked down the tunnel of Rio Tinto Stadium and graced 19, 203 ecstatic fans. The moment felt surreal.
The images that came following that game was inspiring. The crowd was passionate and vocal, the drums were singing gracefully and the entire stadium was a happy, joyous pit of energy.
In 2018, during the Royals’ inaugural season, they averaged 9,466 fans per home game. That was good enough for second-most in the league only behind the Portland Thorn who mustered a whopping 13, 320 per home game.
The League averaged more than 6,000 fans per game for the first time in league history. Much of that was in part due to the raging success the Royals were seeing in Utah.
The passion for the game was evident from the get-go in Utah. Women’s soccer belonged in the state, it was an incredibly influential sporting authority for hundreds of thousands of young women hoping to follow in the footsteps of their idols.
Big Name Signings
Fortunately, the passion shown by the fanbase attracted some of the biggest names in world soccer. Christen Press, Becky Sauerbrunn, Kelley O’Hara, and Amy Rodriguez have all donned the victory gold.
Combined the four players listed above have all played in 581 games for the United States Women’s National Team. All players have made over 100 appearances for their country.
They have also won multiple FIFA World Cups.
The 2019 FIFA World Cup, which was hosted by by France but won by the United States, saw Sauerbrunn, Press and O’Hara play significant roles in helping the U.S. bring the trophy home.
The excitement within the state was contagious. Bars were packed with supporters and social media was buzzing with excitement. The conversation surrounding the USWNT was meaningful in Utah.
The impact that Sauerbrunn, Press O’Hara and Rodriguez was able to have on the local community was immense.
Utah: A Women’s Soccer Haven
The state of women’s soccer in Utah is unique. For years now, women’s soccer is more popular than men’s at the high school level. Utah is home to six different division 1 NCAA women’s soccer teams and the state also produces the largest number of high school girls to be recruited to colleges around the country.
The game of women’s soccer in the state of Utah is thriving and has been doing so for many years.
Goodbye For Now, But Not Forever
As sad as the current circumstances are, the loss will not be forever.
The success of the Royals throughout the short three seasons of their existence will likely bring another professional women’s soccer club back. The timeline for when that may happen is obviously unknown, but Royals fans and soccer supporters alike can remain proud for the support they gave the beloved Royals.
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is one that requires support. The league has had its fair share of movement over the years. Stability is paramount for the league to establish itself and further develop.
Women’s soccer is healthy in Utah. It is respected and admired.
One day, whenever that may be, a professional women’s soccer team will return to the mountainous landscape we call Utah and we will be able to rejoice, again.
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