Utah Royals add three more players to new roster

Royals trade for Kaleigh Riehl, Emily Gray and Francesca Tagliaferri as they gear up for 2024.

(Denis Poroy) Kaleigh Riehl plays during an NWSL soccer match on March 25, 2023. Utah Royals FC acquired Riehl in a trade with the San Diego Wave this week.

Utah Royals FC is filling up its roster quickly as it continues to prepare for the 2024 season as an expansion team in the National Women’s Soccer League.

The Royals completed trades for three players before Sunday’s deadline. They acquired Kaleigh Riehl from San Diego Wave FC, and Emily Gray and Francesca Tagliaferri from the North Carolina Courage.

Those deals bring the club’s roster to four players after trading for former BYU player Mikayla Cluff last week. The deals come ahead of the start of free agency Monday and the NWSL Expansion Draft on Dec. 15.

URFC gave $60,000 in allocation money and expansion protection to San Diego for Riehl, and $30,000 and expansion protection to North Carolina in exchange for Gray and Tagliaferri.

In all, the Royals have spent $180,000 in allocation money for all four of their players.

“I have no doubt that these players will put their blood, sweat and tears into this team,” coach Amy Rodriguez said in a news release. “As we build Utah Royals FC from scratch, these are precisely the type of players that you want – ones that will bring not just talent but also a relentlessness to roll up their sleeves up and get to work.”