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Nikki Washington joining Utah Royals as interim assistant coach

The youth national team standout has been coaching at UW.

SOCCER: AUG 10 NWSL - Portland Thorns FC at Boston Breakers Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Utah Royals FC has added a new hire to their coaching staff, at least on an interim basis: Nikki Washington, a former NWSL player and a member of U.S. youth national teams.

Washington, 32, retired in 2015. She has been an assistant coach at University of Washington from 2017 to 2019.

The news initially came from Lesle Gallimore, the former head coach at UW, who retired following the 2019 season. It was later confirmed by the Utah Royals communications team.

Washington’s arrival to the Royals bolsters a coaching staff that has been hit by controversy. Royals head coach Craig Harrington has been accused of sexism and has been placed on a leave of absence. Reports from The Equalizer indicate Harrington is expected to be out at the organization, although Royals PR staff have indicated there is no official decision yet made.

Louis Lancaster, an assistant coach at the club, was also placed on a leave of absence for reasons unrelated to Harrington’s.

We have reached out to Utah Royals communications about the news.