Utah Royals Build Their New Defense As Portland Thorns Sale Almost Complete

Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji

The Utah Royals are methodically building a starting defense, announcing a third defensive signing this week.

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The Royals have signed free agent defender Madison Pogarh, most recently of the San Diego Wave, the team announced.

Utah has been building from the backline forward, also signing defenders Imani Dorsey and Kaleigh Riehl in the early days of building a new roster for 2024.

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While a trade moratorium will begin on Tuesday, the Royals and the new Bay FC will have a chance to add to their lineups with Friday's expansion draft.


According to a report in the Athletic, the sale of the Portland Thorns should be finished in the coming months, as owner Merritt Paulson is in the final stages of selling the team to the Bhathal family.

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The Bhathals are investors in the NBA's Sacramento Kings, but are committed to keeping the team in Portland, says the report.

A final vote from the NWSL's Board of Governors is still pending, but sources expect the sale to be approved.

Paulson put the Thorns up for sale in 2022, after the Thorns were at the center of a number of investigations into misconduct in the league.

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