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Utah Royals appoint Craig Harrington as head coach

Craig Harrington is the next head coach of Utah Royals.

Lucas Muller | RSL Soapbox

As first reported by John D. Halloran of Equalizer Soccer this morning and later officially confirmed by the club, Utah Royals FC hired Craig Harrington as their new head coach.

Harrington, who had been an assistant coach for the Chicago Red Stars, will move into his first head coaching role in the NWSL. In his time in Chicago, he helped to team make the playoffs both years, helping the team to a 23-12-13 record with back-to-back playoff appearances, including a trip to the NWSL Championship last season. Harrington has experience in coaching youth soccer, having worked with LA Galaxy’s academy for several years. He was the Technical Director and Head Coach of the Turks and Caicos national football team (both men’s teams) from 2013-2016. He also played in England, where he’s from, most notably with Swindon Town and Oxford United.

Until recently, the only name that had been connected with this job was assistant (and current interim head coach) Scott Parkinson. Utah Royals General Manager Stephanie Lee confirmed that Parkinson did interview for the position.

In a press conference today, the club introduced Harrington. Both owner Dell Loy Hansen and General Manager Stephanie Lee praised Harrington’s background in developing players, giving them confidence that Harrington was the coach to carry URFC’s new vision for development and growth.

The club also made known today that Assistant Coach Amy LePeilbet and Goalkeeper Coach Jason Batty will stay on as part of the Royals FC staff. LePeilbet will continue to serve as the Head Coach for the Reserves.

To the disappointment of many fans, Scott Parkinson, who served the past two years as an Assistant Coach and briefly as the Interim Head Coach, has parted ways with Utah.