Kelly Cousins Named Utah Royals FC’s First-Ever Sporting Director
Jul 18, 2023, 10:08 AM | Updated: 10:15 am
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Royals announced the hiring of former Reading FC manager Kelly Cousins as the club’s first-ever sporting director.
Kelly Cousins hired as Utah Royals FC Sporting Director
Utah Royals FC shared the news of the addition of Cousins on Tuesday, July 18.
Cousins will be responsible for leading the NWSL organization’s sporting side and building the Royals‘ roster. Cousins will “collaborate” with Royals head coach Amy Rodriguez on constructing the team’s 2024 roster.
“Kelly is truly a Swiss army knife of Soccer Operations – from sporting side strategic planning and squad management infrastructure building, to scouting and recruitment, to coaching, to everything in between – she has done it all. Even more importantly, getting to know Kelly on a personal level and seeing her skillset as a collaborator has been a joy. We could not be more excited to welcome her family to our Utah community.” Utah Royals FC president Michelle Hyncik said in a statement.
View this post on Instagram
“I am really looking forward to bringing my knowledge and experience to build a roster, a culture and most importantly a place that gives players everything they need to be able to perform at their best’,” Cousins said.
The former Reading FC Manager began her soccer career as a player in 2007. She played for five seasons with Reading FC before injury ended her playing career. After retiring from playing, Cousins transitioned to the club’s front office and took over as head coach of Reading’s third-tier team a year later.
Excited for my new challenge ⚽️☺️ https://t.co/WlKJ3LMsEP
— Kelly Cousins (née Chambers) (@KellyChambers07) July 18, 2023
About Utah Royals FC
The Royals announced the club’s return to the Beehive State and the National Women’s Soccer League for the 2024 season on Saturday, March 11.
Originally founded in November 2017, the Royals played in Utah from 2018-20. The franchise was moved to Kansas City in 2020 and currently plays in Missouri under the “Currents” nickname.
The Royals were first established in Sandy, Utah as an NWSL expansion club. The team played as the Royals for three seasons and held its home matches at America First Field, formerly known as Rio Tinto Stadium, which was also the home of Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake.
In December 2020, the NWSL announced that the Royals would cease to operate in Utah and the club’s players were transferred to Kansas City.
In January 2022, a new Real Salt Lake ownership group, led by David Blitzer and Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith, took hold of the option to bring an NWSL club back to the state.
12 teams currently compete in the NWSL. The Royals return to NWSL play in the 2024 season.