Utah Royals FC couldn’t be more excited to welcome Kaleigh Riehl to the Wasatch Range. Reihl joins from 2023 NWSL Shield winners, San Diego Wave FC, where she started 18 matches, helping the Wave reach the NWSL Championship Semifinals. Partnered with U.S. Women’s National Team star Naomi Girma as the Wave’s primary center-back pairing, the duo established themselves as one of the league’s best defensive partnerships.
- Rock in the Back
There’s a reason the CBS Sports Golazo Network named Riehl as a darkhorse Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Riehl helped headline one of the league’s best defenses which gave up the second least amount of goals during the 2023 NWSL Regular Season (22) and the least amount of expected goals against (23.6). Individually, Riehl finished seventh in the league in clearances (82). Her center-back partner Girma won the 2023 Defensive Player of the Year award, but Riehl’s play also earned her plenty of plaudents, and the veteran defender will bring a winning mentality to the Royals defense after experiencing so much success in San Diego.
- Penn State Proud
Reihl was the number 10 high school recruit in the country in 2015 according to Top Drawer Soccer when she decided to continue her education at Penn State University. The Nittany Lions have a long history of producing top players including UWSNT stars Alysaa Naeher, Allie Long and Ali Kreiger. Following her four years at Penn State, Riehl set the all-time NCAA record for minutes played for an outfield player with 8,847. This dependability followed her to the NWSL where in her first three seasons, she never played in less than 19 regular season games.
- Another New Beginning
Originally drafted 11th overall by Sky Blue FC in the 2020 NWSL Draft, Reihl would only play in the NWSL Challenge Cup for SBFC, her debut being against the original Utah Royals FC, before being selected by Racing Louisville FC in the 2021 Expansion Draft. Reihl packed her bags again in 2022 when she was selected by San Diego in the 2022 NWSL expansion draft, before joining the Utah Royals following the 2023 NWSL season. Reihl will look to establish a home in Utah as she settles in, and begins the 2024 season with her fourth team in five years.
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.