The Utah Royals FC might not be playing games right now due to the postponement of the National Women’s Soccer League amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn’t mean some excitement isn’t on the horizon.
Two star European soccer players in goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi and midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan are set to join the Royals when their contracts end, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned. The two are currently teammates at Olympique Lyonnais in France, but are reportedly out of contract in June. The official end of their season, which is currently postponed, was scheduled for May 30.
The NWSL currently has a freeze on transactions due to the league’s hiatus. But the deals for Bouhaddi and Marozsan were agreed to and sent for league approval some time ago, per a league source familiar with the situation.
The Royals declined comment, and the NWSL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bouhaddi confirmed her departure from the Lyon team in a video Saturday, thanking the club for the time she spent there. She joined the team in 2009.
Bouhaddi is the top goalkeeper for Olympique Lyonnais and the French national team. She has 10 French league titles and six Women’s Champions League titles. She’s also made 149 appearances for the national team.
Marozsan, who was born in Budapest, Hungary, is considered one of the best attackers in the world. She’s been on Germany’s senior national team since 2010, and won an Olympic gold medal in 2016. She also has four Women’s Champions League titles and a title in the 2013 European Women’s Championship.
Utah bringing in Bouhaddi and Marozsan coincides with the club’s desire to add several European players with the allocation money it has from the league and from trading defender Becky Sauerbrunn to Portland last month. At the time, the club had designs on landing “three or four” overseas players.
The first of those players was midfielder Aminata Diallo, who the Royals got on loan last month from Paris Saint-Germain. Bouhaddi and Marozsan make three, and Marozsan might be the biggest get of them all.
NWSL Commissioner Lisa Baird has said the tentative plan to resume play is in late June. That timeframe is subject to change due to the ever-changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic.