CHICAGO – The National Women’s Soccer League announced Thursday that Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer will own and operate a new NWSL team, which will join the league for the 2018 season.

The club will play its home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium.

It has been reported that the Salt Lake City team will not be an expansion team, that an existing NWSL club will be relocated. All signs are pointing to FC Kansas City.

NWSL managing director of operations Amanda Duffy will join Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen and Utah Governor Gary Herbert at a press conference in the Interform Club at Rio Tinto Stadium to introduce the new team. The exact date of the press conference was not announced.

“We are very excited to welcome Dell Loy Hansen and Real Salt Lake into the NWSL family as the newest member of our league,” Duffy said in a statement. “During our discussions in this process, Real Salt Lake has demonstrated their unquestionable desire and commitment to bring the highest level of professional women’s soccer to all fans of the game in Salt Lake City and Utah. Real Salt Lake will immediately be able to hit the ground running on the business side as well as provide the players with a top-notch training ground and one of the best game venues in the country.”

The new Salt Lake side’s official name, brand identity and ticket pricing, broadcast options and corporate opportunities, along with the coaching hires and formation of the NWSL club’s roster, will be announced in coming days and weeks.

“Our goal is build the very best women’s sports organization in America,” said Hansen , weeks before the club opens the $73 million Zions Bank Real Academy in Herriman, Utah, 15 minutes southwest of Rio Tinto Stadium. “Only 15 days ago was I asked to look into this opportunity, and as we learned about the NWSL vision from the league office and met with A&E executives as well as U.S. Soccer about their aspirations on and off the field, we knew we not only wanted to join as quickly as possible and participate, but we believe that our current infrastructure as well as the development initiatives on the RSL horizon align perfectly. Our community is already passionate about women’s sports, and we believe that empowering and advancing the women’s game accelerates the change to build a better Utah.”

For more information on the Real Salt Lake entry into NWSL, visit www.RSL.com/NWSL.