U.S. national team right-back Kelley O’Hara has spent three months with Utah Royals during which she was able to only appear in 12 matches due to her injuries, the pandemic, and international duty.
on Wednesday announced that they have brought
U.S. national team
She has spent three seasons with theUtah Royals
during which she had reportedly requested to move since she lives in the Washington area.
In exchange for O’Hara, if certain performance stipulations are met, Utah will receive $75,000 in allocation money as well as a first-round pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft.
“I am ecstatic to join the Washington Spirit. It has always been a dream of mine to be able to play in the city I call home," O'Hara said.
"This is a young and exciting team with lots of potential and I am looking forward to providing veteran experience to the squad. I can’t wait to get to work on the field with the team and Richie and to be able to make an impact off the field in the community. I want to bring a championship to Spirit fans and the District, and make soccer this city’s favorite sport.”
O’Hara has accumulated 131 caps for the USWNT, has appeared in three World Cups, has won two, and also won an Olympic gold medal in 2012.
The Washington Spirit coach
has expressed his excitement of having a player like O’Hara on his team.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to get Kelley O’Hara to our club," Burke said. "Kelley adds world-class quality to our current squad and is a fantastic addition to our young team.
"As a World Cup winner and FIFPro World XI player, we have added some valuable experience. More importantly, we’ve added another player who has a winning mentality, and someone who will contribute enormously to our team environment.
"I’m excited to get started with Kelley as soon as possible and can’t wait to integrate her into our club.”
O’Hara also expressed her gratitude to the Royals by sending a message to the club:
"As I move on to the next chapter in my NWSL career I want to thank the Utah Royals organization for providing a top-class professional experience.
"To the fans, I know that my time on the field in Utah did not meet a lot of people's expectations, including my own. Please know that I gave all I had to the Royals during my three years and to those that stuck by me and the team through the good and the bad, I am forever grateful.
"And lastly, to my teammates, I am so very thankful for each and every one of you. I will cherish the bonds we built on and off the field. I wish all of you the best!"