Utah Royals FC has acquired former BYU standout and Utah native Michele Vasconcelos from the Chicago Red Stars in exchange for $55,000 in allocation money.
“I’m thrilled to be able to do what I love in my hometown,” Vasconcelos said. “I grew up going to games at Rio Tinto Stadium, I even played my high school state finals there. I look forward to playing in front of my family and friends, as well as having the added support of my daughter. I am excited to be a part of the Royals and to contribute to the club and community.”
The trade marks a return home for Vasconcelos, who grew up in the shadows of Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. She played high school ball for Alta High School, just under three miles from her new training grounds with Utah Royals FC, and in her senior year she was chosen as the 2011-12 Gatorade Utah Soccer Player of the Year.
“Michele is a talented young forward with deep roots in this community and we are excited to have her as part of this club,” General Manager Stephanie Lee said.
Vasconcelos played in 70 matches for BYU and set records with 30 goals and 27 assists, which are still top-10 all-time marks at BYU. As a senior in 2016, she was selected as the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, capping off a career that started with her selection as the 2012 West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year.
“Michele is quality, her combination of skills is high level and her mindset on top of that is high level,” Head Coach Craig Harrington said. “I know we are getting a really good player here that makes our squad stronger.”
Vasconcelos, 26, appeared in 31 matches during her time with the Red Stars, 15 of them starts, and notched three goals and three assists.