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Paige Monaghan is walking on air through the Zions Bank Training Center. The captain's armband is fitted snugly around her left bicep as she glides from photo station to photo station, lights and flashes documenting her new title - and role - on the budding team. 

You couldn’t tell that she just finished another tough training session ahead of the Royals’ home opener on Saturday or that there was a mini-blizzard brewing outside of the URFC Herriman-based facility.

Monaghan is all smiles. 

The attacking midfielder is laughing with the team’s digital media staff as she does pose after pose, the renowned Utah snow piling up outside the large windows of the building foyer. 

About 24 hours prior, Head Coach Amy Rodriguez crowned Monaghan with the responsibility in front of her teammates.

“Honestly, it's such an honor and it's such a privilege to be the Captain for the Utah Royals,” Monaghan said. “When Amy said my name in the meeting, my heart was beating out of my chest and I kind of realized how much it meant to me.”

The New Jersey native joins Rodriguez and Becky Sauerbrunn, two legendary U.S. Women’s National Team figures, in the brief but illustrious line of Utah Royals captains. 

Last season, Monaghan finished the year with career highs in goals (4) and assists (2) en route to becoming a Racing Louisville fan favorite. Just ask any Racing fan about #GOBIGPURP.

“I've been on so many different teams, with so many great players, that I think it's almost prepared me for this moment,” Monaghan said.  “I look across the locker room and I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people, great athletes, and great soccer players.”

“It’s almost just been like preparation for me for this moment, but at the same time, it's not really changing me. It's more just empowering me to keep being me.”

The Royals #4 credits the way her parents raised her in her North New Jersey hometown of Succasunna for her leadership style. 

Leading by example, being gentle with her words and being a servant leader are the ways Monaghan describes her leadership style and the way she wants to lead the Royals locker room. 

For her, it’s not about the title, it’s about representing her teammates in the best way she can. 

“I'm wearing the Captain's armband, but I'm just a representation of my teammates and they're a representation of me,” Monaghan said. 

“So for me, it's just a mirror and it's representative of who we are collectively. I'm just so proud to be part of this group. My teammates are amazing. The staff has been unbelievable. Truly, I'm so excited for Saturday. The fans deserve a lot and we know that, and we're so excited for it.”

Back in Herriman, Monaghan thanks the Royals digital staff, slips the armband off and heads back towards the locker room. Media duties finally done.

She’ll drive home for a quick break before heading to America First Field in the evening for a Town Hall - the first for the Royals in this iteration - with season ticket members. Such are the additional responsibilities of being captain. 

By now the snow in Herriman has slowed down a bit. Still a much different scene than what awaits the sell-out crowd in Sandy on Saturday with highs reaching 57 degrees. Even with the ever-changing weather, the Royals Captain hasn’t been fazed in her new home. 

You can't have a bad day when you're driving to work with the beautiful mountains. ” Monaghan said. “I swear, that's what I feel like I keep saying to everyone.

When the new Royals leader strides out of the tunnel on Saturday, surrounded by the mountain air and 20,000 supporters thrilled to have their NWSL team back, their Club complete, she has a simple message for the Riot.

“We're ready to put on a show for you guys.”

Utah Royals Next Match:

Utah Royals Next Match:

America First Field is going to be rocking for the inaugural Royals home opener! Secure your seat before it sells out