Utah Royals FC Acquire Rights to USWNT FW Christen Press Plus DF Samantha Johnson From Chicago Red Stars

Three-team “Mega-Trade” Sees URFC Ship DF Brooke Elby, Five Future Draft Picks;

Fourth-Place Royals FC at Chicago on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. MT,

Back at Rio Tinto Stadium on Wed., June 27 v. Seattle Reign FC



SANDY, UT (Monday, June 28, 2018) – Utah Royals FC (4-2-5, 17 pts., NWSL 4th place) acquired the rights to United States FW Christen Press (pending ITC receipt and Göteborg FC contract) as well as DF Samantha Johnson from the Chicago Red Stars, Head Coach Laura Harvey and Managing Director Stephanie Lee announced today.


“Obviously, we are elated to add players of Christen’s attacking quality and Samantha’s pedigree to a spectacular group that is really starting to come together, as our current form indicates,” said Harvey, whose team has gone 4-1-1 in its last six games to catapult up the NWSL table. “Her familiarity through the national team playing with and against many of our players should help her quickly adjust to Utah. The timing here is massive, and kudos to Mr. Hansen and everyone involved for making the deal.”



Press – the most coveted American star in world soccer, having scored 44 goals in 100 U.S. appearances – played 20 minutes for Göteborg FC in Sweden Sunday, and could be available next week as Utah Royals FC hosts Harvey’s former Seattle Reign FC side on Wednesday, June 27 at Rio Tinto Stadium. Johnson arrives in Utah this week, as the squad looks to extend a two-game road winning streak Saturday in Chicago, with three victories in the last four games to vault Utah to fourth place in the nine-team NWSL at the midway point of its inaugural 2018 campaign.


In exchange for Press, who recently celebrated her 100th international USA appearance against China, Utah Royals FC sends DF Brooke Elby and five future NWSL draft picks - including the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft, another first-round 2019 pick, conditional 2020 first- and second-round picks, as well as a conditional 2021 first-rounder to the Red Stars. Elby, a fourth-year professional, appeared in seven games and played 561 minutes so far this season for Utah, after being selected in the 2018 Boston Breakers dispersal draft.


“We are thankful to Brooke for her efforts both on the field and in the community to help us launch this franchise,” said Lee. “We look forward to welcoming Samantha to the group this week, and cannot wait for our fans to join us at Rio Tinto Stadium next week in the game against Seattle.”


Johnson has enjoyed a breakout 2018 season, and was regarded by many as a premier performer in the Red Stars’ 1-0 win at Rio Tinto Stadium back on April 14, spoiling the Royals FC inaugural game, played before more than 19,000 fans. The former Univ. of Southern California player arrives in Utah in the midst of her fifth professional season, one that has seen her play the full 90 minutes in all 10 of her starts on the Chicago back line.



“I am very pleased with my move to Utah -- I have been waiting years to get a chance to play for Laura Harvey,” said Johnson. “I really respect her as a coach and think that’s important. I’m ready to learn a lot from my new coaches and teammates. For me, this is the best opportunity for the next phase of my career. I’m eager to contribute to the club any way I can and look forward to meeting my new teammates.”


Coverage of Saturday’s visit to Chicago kicks off at 5:30 p.m. MT, and will be broadcast locally via KMYU, the KSL app, and on radio station ESPN 700 AM, with Greg Wrubell and Carla Haslam providing the call in the opener of a five-hour “Claret-and-Cobalt” doubleheader, with Real Salt Lake hosting San Jose Earthquakes at Rio Tinto Stadium at 8:00 p.m. MT.


Born just eight months ago and already supported by nearly 5,000 season ticket holders, Utah Royals FC tickets are available by calling 844.Real.Tix or visiting www.UtahRoyalsFC.com.


Player: Christen Press

Position: Forward

Height: 5’ 7”

Date of Birth: December 29, 1988

Hometown: Palos Verdes, CA

Previous Club: Chicago Red Stars

How acquired: Chicago Red Stars trade for Brooke Elby and five future draft picks


Player: Samantha Johnson

Position: Defender

Height: 5’ 5”

Date of Birth: June 10, 1991

Hometown: Palmdale, CA

Previous Club: Chicago Red Stars

How acquired: Chicago Red Stars trade for Brooke Elby and five future draft picks