SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake General Manager Craig Waibel introduced two-time National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Coach of the Year Laura Harvey as the inaugural Head Coach for RSL's entry into the NWSL on Monday via a teleconference.
Harvey, 37, guided the Seattle Reign to the NWSL Final twice in the last five seasons, winning the NWSL Shield for the league's top regular-season record in both 2014 and 2015. Harvey, who departed the Reign in early November and was targeted for multiple international coaching opportunities, won the NWSL Coach of the Year award following both Shield-winning seasons.
"Laura's record of excellence has been proven on both sides of the pond, and she obviously possesses a vast knowledge not only of the NWSL but of international players all over the world," said Waibel, now entering his fifth season in Utah. "Much has been made of our whirlwind entry into NWSL over the last 10 days, but we have targeted Laura since the outset as the top candidate for this opportunity. She's certainly the right fit given our club culture and how she sees the game and wants it to be played."
During her five years with the Reign, Harvey held the league's second-best all-time regular-season record at 51-33-26, earning 179 points over 110 matches. Harvey – the lone head coach Seattle had ever known prior to her resignation earlier this month, on Nov. 7 – assumed the club's General Manager duties midway through its inaugural 2013 season, a post she held concurrently throughout her Seattle reign.
That year, the Reign finished with the second-worst record, but rebounded the following year kick off the campaign with a 13-0-3 start en route to claiming the NWSL's all-time best regular-season finish in 2014 with a 16-2-6 overall mark and 54 points (2.25 points per match). That historic 2014 season also saw the Harvey-led Reign boast a share of the record for most wins in a season (16, tied with 2017 North Carolina), while featuring the league's best all-time single-season goal differential (+30) and longest-ever unbeaten streak (16 games).