Utah Royals FC has officially brought on two more FC Kansas City players with international experience, announcing Monday that goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart and defender Katie Bowen will join the club in preseason.
The Royals also announced the commitments of Rebecca Moros and Alex Arlitt, whose rights Utah also acquired when Kansas City folded in November. Over the course of the offseason the Utah side has added 14 former FCKC players to the preseason roster. NWSL preseason is scheduled to open in a week.
“Continuing to add in experience and quality to our roster was very important when we took over the franchise,” Royals coach Laura Harvey said in a team release. “Our aim was always to bring back the core group that know what it takes to be successful in this league.”
Barnhart has played for FC Kansas City since the league’s inception, racking up 108 starts and two NWSL Championship titles. The two-time Olympic gold medalist has earned 54 caps with the U. S. women’s national team.
The presumed starter in the net for the Royals this season, Barnhart has over a decade of professional experience to aid her in molding Utah’s two young goalkeepers, first round dispersal draft pick Abby Smith and fourth round NWSL College Draft pick EJ Proctor.
Bowen, a New Zealand international, was selected by FC Kansas City in the 2016 NWSL College Draft. She started in 24 matches for the Blues over two years, but made 21 appearances last season. The two-time World Cup veteran made her senior national team debut in 2011.
Moros is one of the holdovers from FCKC’s 2015 championship season. She brings with her seven years of professional experience. Arlitt was drafted out of LSU by Kansas City in 2016. Hindered by injury, however, she has only made 11 league appearances, all in 2016.