Former Reading FC Manager Joins URFC Head Coach Amy Rodriguez Ahead of 2024 NWSL Return
SANDY, Utah (Tuesday, July 18, 2023) – Utah Royals FC have hired former Reading FC Manager Kelly Cousins as its first-ever Sporting Director, the accomplished English football executive now charged with leading the Utah Royals sporting side, building the Royals roster and infrastructure ahead of the 2024 URFC return to the National Women’s Soccer League.
“I am really looking forward to bringing my knowledge and experience to build a roster, a culture and most importantly a place that gives players everything they need to be able to perform at their best,” said Cousins.
Cousins began her professional football career as a player in 2007, signing with Reading FC and playing for five seasons prior to seeing ambitions cut short due to injury. Upon her retirement, Cousins moved into the legendary Club’s front office, named the Director of Women’s and Girl’s Football for Reading. Just a year after hanging up her boots, Cousins assumed the position as third-tier Reading’s Head Coach.
In her first season at the helm, Cousins helped Reading gain its first-ever promotion into the Women’s Super League 2, now known as the FA Women’s Championship, competing in the second tier of English football. Two years later, Cousins would lead the Promotion achievement once again, this time leading the team to first-place finish in the 2015 WSL 2 and a spot in the top flight of English football, the Women’s Super League – spearheading a remarkable story of team-building and promotion.
“Kelly is truly a swiss army knife of Soccer Operations – from sporting side strategic planning and squad management infrastructure building, to scouting and recruitment, to coaching, to everything in between – she has done it all. Even more importantly, getting to know Kelly on a personal level and seeing her skillset as a collaborator has been a joy. We could not be more excited to welcome her family to our Utah community.” Utah Royals FC President Michelle Hyncik said.
During the 2017-18 season she led her team to their highest-ever finish, ending the season in fourth place behind Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City with only four losses all season. The following season she led Reading FC to the FA Cup Semi Final before falling in penalties to West Ham United, just shy of a berth in the Championship match.
In addition to her role as Head Coach, Cousins also served as the Director of Women’s and Girls Football during her tenure at RFCW (Reading Football Club Women). In this role, Cousins facilitated the acquisition and development of countless FIFA Women’s World Cup players, including several who will represent their countries at this month’s upcoming tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
As the first-ever Utah Royals FC Sporting Director, Cousins will collaborate with Head Coach Amy Rodriguez to oversee the construction of the 2024 roster. In addition to scouting and recruiting those who will compose the URFC locker room, Cousins will lead the entire sporting side team operations, including the charge of hiring the necessary technical and support staff as the team prepares for its new era in the NWSL.
Utah Royals FC are set to begin play in the 2024 season, with season ticket deposits available now by visiting UtahRoyals.com or by calling 844-REAL-TIX .