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Youth WNT Jul 15, 2021

Laura Harvey departs U-20 USWNT head coach role to re-join OL Reign

CHICAGO – Laura Harvey will leave her post as U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach to take the head coaching position at OL Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Harvey was hired by U.S. Women’s National Team general manager Kate Markgraf in January 2020 and led the U-20s through a seven-game unbeaten run at the 2020 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship in the Dominican Republic in late February and early March. The USA defeated Mexico, 4-1, in the championship game and outscored its opponents 44-1, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the last time she was able to coach that group as the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup was later cancelled.

While Harvey has not been able to coach the U-20s, she has served as an assistant coach to Vlatko Andonovski on the senior Women’s National Team and is with the USA in Japan for the Olympics. Following the completion of the Olympic tournament, she will join OL Reign.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time with U.S. Soccer and it’s sad that I didn’t get to coach the U-20 players more due to the pandemic, but I’m looking forward to seeing them have continued success in their careers,” said Harvey. “I’m really appreciative of my time on Vlatko’s staff and I feel like I grew as a coach and a person, and that will definitely benefit me as I return to the NWSL. I love the league, I missed the league, and I’m looking forward to getting started with the Reign after the Olympics.”

Harvey is the second woman to receive her U.S. Soccer Pro License, completing the coaching course in 2020.

The move back to the NWSL marks a return to the league and to the club for Harvey. She previously spent seven seasons as a head coach in the NWSL, two with Utah Royals FC and the first five with Seattle Reign FC, where she was also the general manager, before the team was sold, moved to Tacoma and rebranded to OL Reign.

When she left to take the job with U.S. Soccer, she was second all-time in NWSL career wins and led the Reign to the NWSL Shield and championship game appearances in 2014 and 2015. In both years, she was also named the NWSL Coach of the Year. She joined the Reign for NWSL’s inaugural season in 2013 and returns to the league with an overall 72-52-38 record, including playoff appearances.

Markgraf will begin the process of hiring a new U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team head coach following the Olympics. U.S. Soccer is hoping to re-start its Youth National Team programming this fall after pausing due to the pandemic.

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