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Who is Laura Harvey?

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The English native, who was named RSL’s inaugural head coach, is one of the most respected and accomplished head coaches in women’s soccer.

Birmingham City Ladies FC v Arsenal Ladies FC - FA WSL Continental Cup Final Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Laura Harvey stepped away from coaching soccer, at least momentarily.

On November 7, it was announced that Laura Harvey had resigned from her head coaching position with the Seattle Reign FC, a team she led to two regular season NWSL championships. It was believed that Harvey had stepped down from her NWSL coaching duties to pursue potential international opportunities with U.S. Soccer or England. In fact, Harvey did have conversations with the English FA over the open England position.

It was Real Salt Lake, who had been awarded an NWSL team 25 days ago as FC Kansas City folded, who pursued Harvey, hoping to attract the NWSL’s winningest coach. During her five seasons in Seattle, Harvey led the Reign to a 51-26-33 record. Two of those seasons, the Reign reached the NWSL Championship in 2014 and 2015 where they lost to defunct FC Kansas City both years. In those two seasons, she was named NWSL Coach of the Year.

Without a doubt, Real Salt Lake have hired the best coach on the market. A former player herself, whose career was cut short at the age of 22 after an anterior cruciate ligament injury playing for Birmingham City, Harvey began her international and professional head coaching experience.

Before coming to the NWSL to coach the Seattle Reign in its inaugural season in 2013 to 2017, Harvey was an assistant coach for the English national youth teams from 2005-2011 at the U-17, U-19, and U-23 levels. She also served as an assistant coach for Birmingham City L.F.C from 2002-2006. Harvey took over as team manager for the 2006-2008 seasons. From 2008-2012, the English national coached the Arsenal women, winning three consecutive league titles, two Continental Cups, and one FA Women’s Cup. In 2011, Harvey was named the FASWL Coach of the Year for leading Arsenal to the league title.

In September 2017, Harvey was the first coach to reach 50 all-time regular season wins in NWSL history. She’ll now have the opportunity to add more to her tally as she takes over the Real Salt Lake-based women’s club.