HERRIMAN — Twelve days before Utah Royals FC is set to begin play in the NWSL Challenge Cup, the team announced that it has signed two of its three selections from the 2020 draft in January, as well as a second-year pro.
URFC signed first-round pick Tziarra King and second-round pick Kate Del Fava to one-year contracts with an option for 2021 and Marissa Sheva to a short-term contract.
Third-round draft pick Cyera Hintzen has not been signed.
King, a forward, became URFC’s first-ever first-round pick when she was taken eighth overall out of North Carolina State. During her collegiate career, she scored 48 goals in 88 games. Del Fava, a midfielder and the 12th pick in the draft, was the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 2019 as a senior at Illinois State.
Sheva, also a midfielder, comes to URFC after playing a year in Spain, which followed a collegiate career at Penn State.
“We’re delighted that these three have joined the club,” URFC first-year head coach Craig Harrington said in a statement. “They’re outstanding human beings that will add to the locker room. They deserved to be given contracts and now it’s to them to kick things off from here. They’ve shown enough for us to invest our time and effort into them and we think in two or three years they could be really established members of our club.”
URFC will open the Challenge Cup on June 30 against former BYU star Ashley Hatch and the Washington Spirit. The tournament, which will be the first pro sports league event in the United States since March, will begin on June 27 when the North Carolina Courage face Portland Thorns FC.
All games of the nine-team tournament through the quarterfinals will be played without fans in the stands at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman. The tournament will then shift to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy for the semifinals and final, the latter of which will be on July 26.
All teams will stay in a “village” environment to help protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus.