SANDY, Utah — Utah Royals FC have announced the appointment of Amy Rodriguez as head coach of the club.
Utah Royals will rejoin the NWSL for 2024 season, after the franchise was relocated to Kansas City at the end of 2020.
In a press release, the newly-appointed head coach said, "Returning to Utah is a dream I never knew I had and it is with the utmost humility that I step into this role as your Club’s head coach. My time with the Royals is among the greatest years of my professional career. The Utah community fully embraced my family and made this state feel like home for not just myself, but my husband and kids as well. We were devastated to leave and I left feeling like there was still unfinished business on the table. I cannot put into words just how excited I am to get to work and bring Royalty back to this community.”
Amy Rodriguez played for Utah Royals for all three seasons of the team’s first iteration (2018-2020), and was captain of the team in 2020. Rodriguez, who was a USWNT star, played for the US from 2005 until 2018. Over her 132 appearances for the US, she scored 30 goals and won two Olympic gold medals and one World Cup. In her time with Utah, she led the team in goal scored with 16 goals between league play and 2020’s Challenge Cup and Fall Series.
After the Royals were sold and relocated to Kansas City, A-Rod stayed with that team to start the 2021 season but was traded to the North Carolina Courage in July of that year.
In January of 2022, Rodriguez announced her retirement from play and that she had accepted a position as an assistant coach for the University of Southern California’s women’s soccer team, where she had played in college. She currently holds a B-level license and is working on her U.S. Soccer A-level senior coaching license. She becomes the first former NWSL player to take on a head coaching job in the league.