Laura Harvey steps down as Utah Royals coach days before NWSL Draft

Laura Harvey
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Sandy, Utah — Laura Harvey’s tenure in Utah is officially over.

Dan Lauletta of The Equalizer broke the news on Friday morning that Harvey is stepping down as the Utah Royals FC manager. She spent the last two seasons in Utah, coming from Seattle. Her and Vlatko Andonovski seemingly switched roles ahead of the 2018 season. After FC Kansas City dissolved, Andonovski took Harvey’s place in Seattle. Then, Harvey boarded a plane for Utah.

Now, ironically, the two departed for U.S. Soccer this offseason.

Harvey is pursuing an opportunity within U.S. Soccer. It was announced that Harvey is coaching the U-18 National Team camp. Anthony DiCicco, the son of the late Tony DiCicco, announced the news on his Twitter page.

The 39-year-old Harvey was one of the last remaining original coaches in the NWSL. Now, with Andonovski and Harvey out of the NWSL, according to Lauletta, Rory Dames of the Chicago Red Stars is the last original coach since the league’s creation in 2013.

Harvey previously held a role within U.S. Soccer. In 2017, she was named the interim coach of the United States U-23 team. Before coming to the United States, the England native was an assistant for Birmingham City Ladies from 2002-07 and Arsenal LFC from 2008-12.

Harvey’s History and Utah’s Future

During her time in the NWSL, Harvey coached the Seattle Reign to two NWSL Championship appearances. Also ironic, both championship appearances counted in losses to Andonovski and FC Kansas City.

In the last two years with Utah, Harvey failed to get the Royals to the playoffs. In 2018, Utah sat on the cusp in fifth place, missing out on the final spot by two points and goal differential. However, in 2019, the Royals dropped down to sixth place.

The Royals are expected to put out Harvey’s departure announcement today. Also, according to the Equalizer, the team has been prepared for the departure. Utah already has a list of potential replacements for Harvey.

Also of note, Harvey’s departure leaves two head coaching vacancies, just a couple weeks before the NWSL College Draft. The draft is slated for Jan. 16 in Baltimore, Maryland. Reign FC has yet to name a head coach, but did sell majority ownership to OL Groupe, which runs Olympique Lyonnais.


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