Utah Royals FC is ecstatic to announce Francesca (Frankie) Tagliaferri as the Club’s latest signing. The midfielder joins the Royals from the North Carolina Courage after spending the past two seasons with the Courage.
- Hometown Hero
Born in Colts Neck, New Jersey, Tagliaferri was named the number 5 overall high school prospect by Top Drawer Soccer in the 2017 before she decided to go out state for college, joining powerhouse Penn State where she experienced a terrific four year career as a Nittany Lion. During her time in Happy Valley, Tagliaferri established herself as one of PSU’s best, being named an All-American once and All-Big 10 four times. Her senior year she led the Big 10 conference in points (combined goals and assists) with 29. However after receiving an extra-year of eligibility due to the COVID pandemic, Tagliaferri decided to return home to New Jersey for her fifth year, playing out one final year at Rutgers University. During her lone season at Rutgers, she was named the Big 10 midfielder of the year, a MAC Hermann semi-finalist. She helped lead Rutgers to their first ever Big 10 Conference Title and their second ever appearance in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship. By the end of Tagliaferri’s collegiate career, her 114 career games were the most ever by a D1 women’s soccer player. Rather than opt for the 2022 NWSL Draft, Tagliaferri chose to become a discovery player where she was then signed by the North Carolina Courage.
- Familiar Faces
While at Penn State, Tagliaferri was teammates with fellow Utah Royal, Kaleigh Riehl. In 2019 while at PSU, the teammates were both named MAC Hermann semifinalists along with fellow Nittany Lion and now USWNT star Sam Coffey. Teammate at the North Carolina Courage and fellow New Jersey native Emily Gray will also be joining Tagliaferri in Utah for the Royals inaugural season in 2024.
- Plenty to Build Upon
Tagliaferri’s first two seasons in the NWSL saw her minutes increase each year, appearing in five regular season matches her rookie year and eight the following. Tagliaferri played a major role in the Courage’s 2023 Challenge Cup campaign, starting five of North Carolina’s cup matches and recording two goals and an assist during the competition. Statistically, Tagliaferri was one of the 2023 NWSL Challenge Cup’s best performers, finishing the competition in the top 90 percentile or above in goals (91st), passes completed (94th), touches (94th), passes received (98th) and ball recoveries (94th). Royals fans can be excited to watch the New Jersey native build upon her impressive Challenge Cup showing and she battles for more minutes in Utah during the 2024 NWSL season.
Don’t forget to secure your seat at America First Field for next season and help celebrate the Return of Royalty. Season tickets are available here.