U.S. women’s national team co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn has committed to Utah Royals FC, sources told the Tribune.
The team is expected to make the roster announcement Thursday.
The former FC Kansas City defender’s player rights already belonged to the Royals. When FC Kansas City ceased operations on Nov. 20, the league re-assigned the rights to the Blues players to Utah. The future of those players remained uncertain, however, as Utah Royals FC began to shape its roster.
With the announcement, Sauerbrunn will become the first player promised to appear on the Royals’ roster next season.
The 32-year-old defender is the only player to be named to the NWSL Best XI in all five seasons of the league’s existence. Last season with FC Kansas City, she had one goal and two assists in 22 starts. She is the first player in the league’s history to be honored with a NWSL in three consecutive seasons, having won the Defender of the Year award in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Sauerbrunn has earned 135 caps with the United States, making her first appearance in a January 2008 match against Canada. After helping the USWNT to the World Cup title in 2015, Sauerbrunn was named co-captain with Carli Lloyd for 2016.
A two-time Olympian who played collegiately at the University of Virginia, Sauerbrunnn made the Olympic team for the first time in 2012. She came off the bench in the semifinal and final that year as Team USA claimed the gold.