Super Falcons forward, Ifeoma Onumonu said it is an amazing opportunity to be coached by one of the best after joining Utah Royals FC from reigning NWSL champion Gotham FC.
Onumonu becomes the 15th player on the 2024 expansion Utah side’s roster, for the upcoming NWSL season and players reporting to preseason between January 22-29.
“This is an amazing opportunity to be coached by one of the best who ever did it, tapping into Amy Rodriguez’ history with the NWSL and her being a former No. 9.”
She noted that she will reunite with three former teammates in Utah (Imani Dorsey, Mandy Haught, Paige Monaghan).
“Having the conversation with Amy and (Sporting Director Kelly Cousins) was incredibly important to me, hearing their vision and understanding the commitment to and investment in providing the best for the athletes is what persuaded me to play for the Royals.
“I’m quite excited for our style of play. Amy mentioned that we will look to mix some of what Man City and Bayern Munich try to do – keep the ball, if you lose it, get it back as quickly as possible. This is what interests me – at this point in my career, I want to play with the ball and not run around mindlessly or get caught in kick-and-run. This whole project intrigues me, as I’m always looking to learn more – what better way to learn than to try to emulate a style of play and model ourselves after the best in the world.”
Onumonu has played each of the last three seasons with Gotham FC since joining in 2020 via trade with OL Reign.
With the New York based side, the striker appeared in 40 matches – starting 35, recording 10 goals and six assists in nearly 3,000 minutes. In the most recent 2023 NWSL regular season, Onumonu appeared in 14 matches and started in four, recording 370 minutes and one assist.
Onumonu’s summer was highlighted by her critical contribution to Nigeria’s 2023 World Cup squad
She helped the Super Falcons to a Round of 16 appearance, where the team was knocked out by eventual runner-up England. Onumonu appeared in four matches and started in three, playing 227 minutes for one of the world’s most dynamic sides.
Prior to joining Gotham FC, Onumonu also played for the OL Reign (2019-20) and Portland Thorns (2018), after being drafted as the eighth overall pick by the Boston Breakers in the 2017 NWSL Draft.
“Adding a player with Ify’s international pedigree and experience within the League marks yet another milestone as we build out this roster, said URFC Sporting Director Kelly Cousins.
“We expect her and the other veterans to implement Amy’s vision and accelerate the buy-in for our cultural development, on and off the pitch.”