Washington Spirit acquires USWNT defender Kelley O’Hara from Utah Royals
Boyds, Md. – The Washington Spirit have acquired two-time FIFA World Cup Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Kelley O’Hara from the Utah Royals.
In the trade, Utah receives $75,000 in allocation money plus additional consideration contingent on the number of NWSL regular season matches O’Hara plays for the Spirit in 2021.
Spirit Head Coach Richie Burke said this about the acquisition: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to get Kelley O’Hara to our club. 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 spent the last three seasons with the Utah Royals. In 2020, she participated in two NWSL Challenge Cup matches playing 64 minutes. During the 2018-2019 seasons, she made 12 appearances for the club and scored one goal. She was selected to the NWSL Best XI First Team in 2019. Prior to her time in Utah, O’Hara spent five seasons with Sky Blue FC, where she appeared in 75 games and scored 15 goals.
O’Hara said this about joining the club: “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. 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.”
A member of the U.S. Women’s National Team, O’Hara competed in three FIFA World Cups – 2011, 2015 and 2019. She has made 131 appearances scoring two goals and adding 19 assists. She was named to the FIFPro Women’s World XI after her performance in the 2019 World Cup. O’Hara also won an Olympic Gold Medal in 2012
O’Hara attended Stanford University, finishing her college career with 87 appearances, 57 goals and 32 assists. During her final season, she scored 26 goals and added 13 assists – one of the best seasons in Division I history. She won the Hermann Trophy, which is awarded annually to the top college soccer player in the country.
“The Spirit family welcomes Kelley as she will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the club,” said Spirit CEO and Director of Sporting Operations Larry Best. “Her veteran presence as a World Cup winner, fierce competitor and her positional versatility will help bolster our squad in many ways.”
Born: August 4, 1988
Hometown: Fayetteville, Ga.
College: Stanford University
Previous Club: Utah Royals FC