BYU women’s soccer legend Mikayla Cluff returns home to play for Utah Royals

Former BYU soccer player Mikayla Cluff is returning home to play for the Utah Royals FC after playing for Orlando Pride the past two years.

In the 2024 NWSL Draft, Cluff was the No. 26 pick and on Wednesday the Utah Royals FC announced that they were able to acquire the former Cougar in exchange for $90,000 in allocation money and expansion protection. 

“While I’ve enjoyed my time in Orlando over the last two seasons,” Cluff said in a news release. “I am extremely excited to return to play in my hometown and bring back this Club for the state and for the fans.”

As Cluff looks forward to her bright future ahead, the accomplishments that brought her to this point cannot go unnoticed.

Before appearing in the NWSL, Cluff played for the Cougars from 2017-2022 where she started every match but two during that time. Cluff was three-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year, a four-time All-WCC first team honoree and helped in leading the team to the 2021 National Championship. She left as one of the most decorated players in BYU history.

Her remarkable career with BYU led her to be the No. 14 pick in the 2021 NWSL draft where she was picked by Orlando. She has appeared in 51 matches and recorded four goals and one assist. Cluffs first professional goal was a game-winner against North Carolina on May 18, 2022.

“We’re so excited to welcome Mikayla back to Utah,” Royals head coach Amy Rodriguez said in a release. “A player who has had so much success in the state at both the collegiate and high school level and has now shown to be an excellent NWSL player. She offers versatility in the midfield, which is so valuable in an expansion year.

“When evaluating players, we also put a big emphasis on their character and Mikayla is a great first step in building the culture we want in our locker room. We know how much she is loved in this state, and we can’t wait for our fans to cheer her on in Utah again.”

Bringing Cluff to Utah was URFC sporting Director Kelly Cousins’ first step to building the 2024 roster.

“We are elated to welcome her home,” Cousins said in a news release. “We know our fans cannot wait to fill America First Field and cheer on Utah’s own, and we look forward to several more player announcements in the coming days and weeks.”

No doubt that fans will be excited to see Cluff’s career continue from up close while she is signed on to play through the 2025 season.

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