SANDY, Utah (Thursday, June 18, 2020) – Utah Royals FC announced on Friday that the club has signed 2020 NWSL College Draft selections Tziarra King and Kate Del Fava, as well as midfielder Marissa Sheva. Both King and Del Fava have signed for the 2020 season with an option for the 2021 season while Sheva has signed a short-term agreement with the club.
“We’re delighted that these three have joined the club. They’re outstanding human beings that will add to the locker room,” URFC Head Coach Craig Harrington said. “They deserved to be given contracts and now it’s to them to kick things off from here. They’ve shown enough for us to invest our time and effort into them and we think in two or three years they could be really established members of our club.”
King was selected eighth overall and was Utah’s first ever first round selection in the College Draft after trading the pick in each of the club’s first two seasons. The forward capped her senior season at North Carolina State with 13 goals in 23 appearances in 2019. In four years at NC State, King notched 48 goals in 88 appearances. The Sicklerville, New Jersey, native was a regular on the All-ACC first and second teams from her sophomore to senior years and earned academic accolades in all four years at NC State.
“I’m really excited to be officially joining Utah Royals FC,” King said. “These last few weeks training with the girls have been phenomenal. It’s such a good group of girls and I’m really enjoying the coaching staff and learning from everyone. I’m just really excited to get out onto the field and get going.”
Del Fava was selected in the second round, 12th overall, in the draft in January. She arrives in Utah after a standout college career at Illinois State where she scored 25 goals in 84 appearances over four seasons. The midfielder was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2019 after leading the conference in goals (17), points (39), shots on goal (35) and game-winning goals (6). In her career, she earned All-MVC First Team honors three times. Additionally, she was named the Linda Herman Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2018-19 academic year.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Royals FC organization to begin my professional journey,” Del Fava said. “It’s been a dream of mine to play professional soccer my whole life and to have that dream become a reality with such a great club and amazing teammates and coaches is a dream come true.”
Sheva joins URFC as a second-year professional and a collegiate standout at Penn State University where she featured in 92 matches – 60 of which were starts – while scoring 13 goals and adding 9 assists in four years as a Nittany Lion. Sheva helped the program to its first-ever NCAA National Championship in 2015 in addition to competing on the school’s track and field team. Most recently, Sheva featured for Deportivo Alavéz in the Spanish second division.
“I’m excited to be here in Utah and I feel grateful to the club for the opportunity,” Sheva said. “It’s definitely shaping up to be a unique first season in the NWSL, but I couldn’t be more excited for the 2020 Challenge Cup to get underway here in Utah. ”
The trio joins the Utah Royals FC roster ahead of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup, which kicks off June 27 at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah. Royals FC will face the Washington Spirit on June 30, Chicago Red Stars on July 4 and OL Reign on July 8 before concluding the Group Stage on July 12 against the North Carolina Courage. The top eight finishers in the Group Stage will advance to the Quarterfinal Round.