Utah Royals announce contract offers, options for 2020 season

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Royals FC forward Christen Press (23) celebrates her second goal as the Utah Royals FC host Sky Blue FC, August 7, 2019 at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The Utah Royals FC may look exactly the same as it did last season — at least in terms of personnel.

The club announced Monday that it has offered new contracts to 10 of its players. It also exercised the contract options of an additional 11 players, while five remain on the roster.

U.S. Women’s National Team players Becky Sauerbrunn, Christen Press and Kelley O’Hara will remain on the Royals roster for next season, as will Canada’s Desiree Scott and Diana Matheson. Whether those players will remain with their respective national teams remains to be seen.

The club picked up the options of the following players: Vero Boquete, Rachel Corsie, Mandy Laddish, Melissa Lowder, Michelle Maemone, Madeline Nolf, Sydney Miramontez, Brittany Ratcliffe, Amy Rodriguez, Abby Smith, Raisa Strom-Okimoto and Gaby Vincent.

Rodriguez led URFC in goals last season with nine. Boquete was the club’s splashy offseason pickup in advance of the 2019 season, and proved impactful for the Royals. She did miss a few games with injuries.

Ratcliffe missed the entire season with a torn ACL.

URFC offered new deals to the following players: Nicole Barnhart, Katie Bowen, Makenzy Doniak, Gunny Jónsdóttir, Lo’eau LaBonta, Taylor Lytle, Becca Moros, Katie Stengel, Erika Tymrak and Mallory Weber.

Lytle missed the majority of the season with a foot injury, but was training with the team at the tail end of 2019. Moros was in an out of the lineup with various injuries as well.

Weber was acquired during the season after being waived by the Portland Thorns.

The moves appear to contradict what general manager Stephanie Lee said just before the Royals’ season ended. When asked about what moves she anticipating making in regard to the roster, she said, “The reality is that something has to change.”

And with coach Laura Harvey expecting to return as coach, it appears 2020 could be a run-it-back season for the Royals.