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Utah Royals release schedule for first season back in Utah. Here are some highlights

Towels marking the return of the National Women’s Soccer League team, the Utah Royals, hang on the backs of chairs during a news conference by the Real Salt Lake ownership at America First Field in Sandy on March 11, 2023.
Towels marking the return of the National Women’s Soccer League team, the Utah Royals, hang on the backs of chairs during a news conference by the Real Salt Lake ownership at America First Field in Sandy on March 11, 2023. | Ryan Sun, Deseret News

The National Women’s Soccer League released its schedule for the 2024 season on Thursday, revealing when the Utah Royals’ first game in Utah since 2020 will take place.

The Utah Royals will kick off their first season back in Utah with a home opener against the Chicago Red Stars on March 16.

Here is what you need to know about the Utah Royals’ schedule:

Which former BYU Cougars will play in Utah this season?

Some former BYU Cougars will return to Utah to play against the Royals this season, including the Washington Spirit’s Ashley Hatch, Bay FC’s Laveni Vaka and the Portland Thorns’ Olivia Wade-Katoa.

Hatch will play at America First Field on June 8. She last played in Utah in October when the U.S. women’s national team played Colombia in a friendly. Ahead of that game, she expressed her excitement to play in Utah again with the return of the Royals, the Deseret News previously reported.

“I was really excited to hear the return of the Royals,” she said. “Mostly because when we come and play them, I can have a lot of family and friends to come and visit, and I love playing in Utah. And I think it’s a great market for a women’s professional soccer team.”

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Vaka and Wade-Katoa were draft picks in the 2024 NWSL draft. This year will be their first times playing professionally in the Beehive State. Vaka will play in Utah on Aug. 23, and Wade-Katoa will play in Utah on June 29 in a match that will be nationally televised on ION.

Utah has five former Cougars on its roster, including 2024 draft picks Brecken Mozingo and Olivia Smith-Griffitts. They joined Mikayla Cluff, Michele Vasconcelos and Cameron Tucker.

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Who will the Utah Royals play at home?

The Utah Royals will play 13 games at home in America First Field. They will play the following teams at home:

  • March 16: Chicago Red Stars.

  • March 22: North Carolina Courage.

  • April 12: Orlando Pride.

  • April 27: Houston Dash.

  • May 3: Angel City FC.

  • May 25: Kansas City Current.

  • June 8: Washington Spirit.

  • June 29: Portland Thorns FC.

  • Aug. 23: Bay FC.

  • Sept. 14: San Diego Wave.

  • Sept. 28: Racing Louisville.

  • Oct. 13: Seattle Reign.

  • Nov. 1: Gotham FC.

What teams do the Utah Royals play in away games?

The Royals have 13 road games in 2024. They will travel to play the following teams:

  • March 31: Washington Spirit.

  • April 20: Racing Louisville FC.

  • May 5: San Diego Wave.

  • May 12: Chicago Red Stars.

  • May 17: North Carolina Courage.

  • June 16: Bay FC.

  • June 21: Orlando Pride.

  • July 7: Seattle Reign.

  • Aug. 31: Houston Dash.

  • Sept. 7: Kansas City Current.

  • Sept. 22: Gotham FC.

  • Oct. 5: Portland Thorns.

  • Oct. 20: Angel City FC.

Will the Utah Royals play on Sunday?

There will be one home game played on Sunday. The team will play six of its 13 road games on Sundays.

Will the Utah Royals have nationally televised games?

Fifteen of Utah’s games will be nationally televised. Utah will play nine games that will be broadcast on ION, two games on CBS Sports Network, two on Prime Video and two on ESPN2. All other matches will be available on the NWSL’s new streaming service, NWSL+, which will be free, according to a press release from the Royals.

Will the NWSL have a break for the Olympics?

The NWSL will have a CBA-mandated break from July 8 to July 14. The league will take a regular season break for the 2024 Paris Olympics from July 15 to Aug. 18.

During the Olympic break, the NWSL will host a tournament with all 14 teams and international opponents, according to the press release.

The team will also have two bye weekends before the CBA-mandated break on the weekends of April 6 and June 1.

When do the NWSL playoffs start?

The 2024 NWSL playoffs start on Nov. 9 with the quarterfinal round. The semifinal round will be played on Nov. 16 and 17, and the final will be held on Nov. 23.