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Michele Vasconcelos finally made it home. Then, her team moved

Photo Copyright Lucas Muller

Michele Vasconcelos thought it might be a sign. Maybe this would be a good time to hang up her boots.

It would tough to blame her if she did call it quits. Her professional career has come in fits and starts over the past four years. After being drafted by the Chicago Red Stars in 2017, Vasconcelos postponed her rookie season while pregnant. Then, she struggled in 2018 with the challenges of adjusting to the pro level in her first year while being a new mom. And when she finally started to feel right during her second season in 2019, she blew out her ACL.

Earlier this year, she asked for a trade from Chicago to the Utah Royals to be closer to family. Three months after the trade was announced, the club itself was shuttered — with the rights to the players being moved to a new expansion franchise in Kansas City.

“After [the Challenge Cup] ended, I just didn’t go back to Chicago,” Vasconcelos told The Equalizer. “Not that I wasn’t planning on going, but with everything that was going on with COVID, I thought, ‘Oh, I’m just going to stay in Utah with my family and then I’ll report back when we need to be in Chicago.”

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