The Utah Royals have signed former BYU star Michele Vasconcelos, bringing the Utah native and former Royals forward home, the team announced Tuesday.

Vasconcelos played briefly for the Royals in the team’s first iteration in 2020 before the club was sold and relocated to Kansas City. She grew up in Sandy and is “insanely happy to be home,” she said in a press release.

“Simply put, I love Utah. The organization is moving full-steam ahead, the new foundation for this version of the Royals is so so amazing for all of Women’s Soccer. Now the focus is on building up that core even better, as we keep going Utah will surely be a place people across the industry and the world will want to be,” she said. “I am so passionate about Utah, so excited to elevate this Royals FC project together, I can’t wait to see all the fans and partnering every day with the Club and the community to grow and connect. Insanely happy to be home.”

Vasconcelos signed with the club through the 2025 season. She joins fellow former BYU star Mikayla Cluff, who the Royals traded for and signed Wednesday.

“As I come back to Utah, for sure excitement is my main feeling, but I’m also feeling a ton of relief — I was devastated when the team left three years ago, as I’d only been back here a month,” she said in a press release. “I grew up in Sandy, in the shadow of the Royals / RSL stadium. Now coming back for the second time around, it really feels too good to be true, now I really have the chance to live out my dream.”

She hinted that her next playing destination was a dream come true when she announced on Instagram that she declined her mutual option with the Portland Thorns Monday.

“Bringing Michele home marks yet another critical development as we build out the 2024 roster,” said Kelly Cousins, sport director for the Royals, in the press release. “Michele has experienced quite the circuitous route in this league since her BYU success, and her time in Spain. We are elated to truly welcome her home ... as we look forward to several more player announcements in the coming days and weeks.”

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Who is Michele Vasconcelos?

Vasconcelos played at BYU from 2012 to 2016, earning West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year honors in 2012 and West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2016, according to the Thorns. While at BYU, she met her husband, former BYU men’s soccer player Pedro Vasconcelos.

As a Cougar, she recorded 30 goals and 27 assists in 70 matches for BYU, according to the Royals.

In 2017, the Chicago Red Starts drafted her 11th overall. She missed her rookie season after becoming pregnant with her daughter, Scarlett.

In her six NWSL seasons, she has played for the Red Stars, Royals, Kansas City Current and Portland Thorns, where she won the 2022 NWSL Championship.

She played overseas for a brief stint in Spain for Sevilla FC before signing with the Thorns in 2022.