The Utah Royals have traded defender Brooke Elby and six NWSL draft picks to Chicago Red Stars for defender Samantha Johnson and the rights to USWNT forward Christen Press (pending Göteborg FC contract and ITC receipt), the club announced on Monday. The Royals have had their eyes on both players for some time but couldn’t find a way to make it work until now. Press, who had 35 goals in 68 appearances with the Red Stars and has 4 goals in 8 appearances with Göteborg, featured for the USWNT at Rio Tinto Stadium on June 7th and got her 100th cap for the US on June 12th. Royals forward Amy Rodriguez is “delighted” about the trade and looking forward to playing with her national team teammate on a regular basis:
Head coach Laura Harvey joined the media after training on Tuesday, saying that she’s wanted Press on her team for years and they expect Press to be with the Royals by the end of the week:
Samantha Johnson played at the University of Southern California, with Amy Rodriguez, and joined the Chicago Red Stars in 2014 after attending an open tryout, making 77 appearances for the club. Johnson went the full 90 in all 10 of her starts for the Red Stars this season. Harvey admires the way Johnson defends and hopes to utilize her not only in the coming stretch of games but when Sauerbrunn is called up to the USWNT. Johnson will arrive in Utah on Tuesday evening but is not expected to play this weekend against Chicago, per terms of the trade.
Brooke Elby came to Utah via the 2018 Boston Breakers dispersal draft and had seven appearances for Utah. Royals forward Brittany Ratcliffe says she’s excited for players like Johnson and Press to join the team but is sad to see Elby go:
The Utah Royals will play the last match of their four-match road trip on Saturday, June 23rd in Chicago. Our coverage begins at 6 PM with Greg Wrubell and Carla Swensen-Haslam.