Utah Royals FC complete hiring for inaugural season technical staff

Olympic Gold Medalist Amy LePeilbet Joins Staff as Second Assistant Coach;

Former New Zealand International Jason Batty Named Goalkeeper Coach;

Club Also Confirms Sports Performance Coach, Head Athletic Trainer, Equipment Manager & Team Administrator for 2018 NWSL Campaign, w/ Preseason Kicking Off Monday, Feb. 19

SANDY, Utah (Friday, February, 9, 2018) — One week prior the club’s inaugural preseason kickoff, Utah Royals FC formally unveiled its complete 2018 Technical Staff, Head Coach Laura Harvey and Managing Director Stephanie Lee announced today.

An experienced NWSL administrator, Lee arrives in Utah after three years working closely with Harvey in Seattle, where she served as the Director of Soccer and Player Operations for Seattle Reign FC. During her time with the Reign in her native Pacific Northwest, the San Diego State graduate handled all non-technical aspects of first-team operations, oversaw facility operations, scheduling, player relations and needs, while serving as the primary point of contact for the club’s game day operations. In 2015, Stephanie worked as the Team Administration Manager and Camp and Community Relations Manager for Seattle, while studying to receive her Masters in Sports Administration and Leadership at Seattle University.

Lee, Harvey and previously announced Assistant Coach Scott Parkinson have worked together, along with Real Salt Lake General Manager Craig Waibel, to identify and hire the following individuals to complete the club’s 2018 Technical Staff:  Assistant Coach Amy LePeilbet, a former United States Women’s National Team player and Utah resident; Goalkeeper Coach Jason Batty, a former New Zealand MNT netminder; Sports Performance Coach Melissa Terry; Head Athletic Trainer Emily Fortunato; Equipment Manager Karly Cebula; and Team Administrator Philippe Tabet.

Filling the second assistant coach position is retired USWNT defender Amy LePeilbet. LePeilbet began her international career in 2004, registering 84 appearances for the U.S. side. During her time with the national team, LePeilbet won an Olympic Gold Medal in 2012, where she competed in five of the six Olympic matches, and played on the U.S. runner-up side in the 2011 Women’s World Cup. LePeilbet also played a crucial role on several NWSL back lines, where she won a league championship in 2014 and 2015 with FC Kansas City. LePeilbet announced her retirement in December 2015, moved to Salt Lake and has since been coaching locally with the Utah Avalanche club. LePeilbet’s addition to the staff will formally reunite her with many of her former FC Kansas City and USWNT teammates.

Also joining the coaching staff is former New Zealand Men’s National Team goalkeeper Jason Batty. The 1997 New Zealand Player of the Year arrives in Utah with a strong playing resume – and an even more impressive coaching career. After winning the OFC Nations Cup in 1998 and 2002, and appearing in 55 matches for the “All Whites” senior side, Batty accepted the assistant coaching job at Dartmouth College, and later served as the Managing Director of Goalkeeping at Texas Premier SC. From 2010-16, Batty was the goalkeeping coach for the San Jose Earthquakes, part of that club’s MLS Supporters Shield-winning side in 2012. Batty also continues to work extensively with the New Zealand Youth National Teams. 

Under the guidance of RSL Sports Science Director Hank Ruggiero, Utah Royals FC has hired Melissa Terry to fill the role of Sports Performance Coach for the squad. Prior to coming to Utah, Terry served as an assistant coach for the University of Mississippi the previous three seasons, where she helped the Rebels to a 10-7-3 record in 2017, earning Ole Miss an NCAA tournament bid for the third time in five seasons. Additionally, Terry has worked as a physiologist for U.S. Soccer with the U16, U17, and U18 Youth National Team programs. A former All-American soccer player at Central Oklahoma, she also he'd a position in strength and conditioning at the University of Oklahoma, working with the Sooner softball program that made back to back appearances in the Women's College World Series, claiming the 2013 Title. 

On the club’s medical side, Head Athletic Trainer Emily Fortunato joins Utah Royals FC from the WNBA Washington Mystics, where she served on that team’s training staff for three seasons from 2015-17. Prior to her WNBA career, Fortunato was an athletic trainer at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, covering women's basketball and softball. During her time with the Patriots, Fortunato simultaneously covered the NWSL’s Washington Spirit side during the 2013/14 seasons. Since 2013, Fortunato has maintained a working relationship with U.S. Soccer, often assisting the federation’s full-time training staff during various training camps, tournaments and friendlies.

Another Virginia native, Karly Cebula, joins Utah Royals FC as the Equipment Manager. Before making her move to Utah, Cebula worked as an Equipment Operations intern for Orlando City’s MLS, NWSL and USL teams. Prior to graduating from George Mason University with a Bachelors in Sports Management in 2017, Cebula worked for three years as an Operations and Team Management intern for the NWSL’s Washington Spirit. 

Helping coordinate team movements and other duties for Utah Royals FC is Team Administrator Philippe Tabet. Born in New York City to Franco-Lebanese parents, the Marketing and Management major recently matriculated from the University of Virginia. During his last 3 semesters at UVA, Tabet worked with Head Coach Steve Swanson and the Women’s soccer team as a Student Manager and Practice Player. Tabet brings a wealth of soccer experience to RSL after co-founding and running several amateur teams. Tabet has spent time in professional soccer environments, working for LOSC Lille of the French League 1 in 2013 and for Chelsea Football Club in the summer of 2016 as a marketing intern. Tabet joined Real Salt Lake in August 2017 as the Academy Administrator in Herriman, now making the jump to the NWSL squad. 

Utah Royals FC kick off its inaugural campaign with road games on the weekends of both March 24 and March 31 prior to an international break in early April, finally christening its Rio Tinto Stadium home on Saturday, April 14 at 1:30 p.m. MT (opponent TBD).

Preparations for the NWSL’s sixth season commence locally in Herriman, Utah one week from Monday, on February 19, when the club’s available preseason roster convenes for its initial sessions at the world-class Zions Bank Training Center.

Season tickets for the 2018 Utah Royals FC season – kicking off the weekends of March 24 and 31 on the road prior to the club's April 14 inaugural game at Rio Tinto Stadium – are now on sale via www.RSL.com/NWSL or by calling 844.Real.Tix.