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‘A different type of captain’: How Paige Monaghan is using her NWSL experience to lead the Utah Royals 2.0

Despite the surprise of leaving Racing Louisville in the expansion draft, Monaghan feels she’s right where she belongs

Paige Monaghan takes a selfie with Utah Royals FC supporters.
Photo Provided by Utah Royals FC

Paige Monaghan is not your typical team captain. She doesn’t play at the senior international level. She’s never won a National Women’s Soccer League championship. Monaghan doesn’t see this as a disadvantage. In fact, it’s part of what makes her uniquely ready for this moment with the Utah Royals’ second go in the NWSL.

“I’m a different type of captain,” Monaghan told The Equalizer. “Often you see captains that are national team players who have played in a World Cup or on an Olympic team and have incredible accolades, whereas for me, I just really grew up in this league.” 

Much like Monaghan herself, you could say the Utah Royals is a team flying under the radar. Re-joining the NWSL after initially shutting down in 2020, the team’s reentry to the league was somewhat overshadowed by expansion-side Bay FC’s heavily-anticipated arrival. Monaghan and her teammates aren’t worried, though. They know they can keep up.

Led by former player and first-time NWSL coach Amy Rodriguez, this young Royals squad – with an average age of 24 – is out to prove that they’re right where they belong.

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