SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, March 3, 2020) – Utah Royals FC have acquired defender Elizabeth Ball and $100,000 in allocation money from Portland Thorns FC in exchange for defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Utah will receive additional allocation money if future conditions are met.
This is the first season that allocation money has been used. Earlier this year, Utah became the first team to use the money as a trade mechanism, sending $60,000 to Chicago Red Stars in exchange for the eighth-overall pick in the 2020 National Women’s Soccer League Draft. Likewise, today’s trade is the first time that allocation money has been traded in exchange for a player.
“We are so thankful for her contributions as part of the team and community, and we are happy we can grant her request to be home in a way that allows us to utilize resources in other avenues to better the team,” General Manager Stephanie Lee said.
Ball, 24, has made 23 appearances for Portland Thorns in her two-year professional career, 16 of which were made during her sophomore season. After going undrafted in the 2019 NWSL College Draft Ball received a preseason invite and soon signed a contract with the Thorns.
“Elizabeth offers us real defending adaptability and options,” Head Coach Craig Harrington said. “She has shown in the past that she can play a variety of positions and her versatility allows us to be flexible to a lot of formations.”
Sauerbrunn became the first-ever signing for Utah Royals FC when she came to the club in December of 2017. The centerback was quickly named the team’s captain, a role in which she has served for the past two years. In the past two seasons Sauerbrunn has scored one goal in 34 appearances and contributed to 13 clean sheets. Additionally, she was named the 2019 Nation Women’s Soccer League Defender of the Year.
TRANSACTION: Utah Royals FC acquired defender Elizabeth Ball and $150,000 in allocation money in exchange for defender Becky Sauerbrunn.