Updated: Jan 18, 2020
Utah Royals head coach Laura Harvey has decided to leave the NWSL team just days before the draft and will take over the US Women's National Team U20 team. The story broke from Dan Lauletta of The Equalizer and comes as a surprise given the time required to hire a new coach.
Harvey has a wealth of experience in management, ranging from the club game in Europe with Arsenal and Birmingham City to the various levels of the English Women's National Team from 2002 to 2011. She was the interim coach for the US Women's U23 team in 2017 and helmed the Seattle Reign from 2013 to 2017 as well. Her move to Utah spanned two seasons where she was unable to take them to the playoffs, finishing the 2019 season with a 10-10-4 record.
Word is that the Royals were prepared for the departure and will announce a new head coach shortly. There is a shortlist of candidates, but such a move so soon before the draft could cause players to be fearful of joining the Salt Lake based club.
The Royals aren't the only team without a head coach. Reign FC also is missing a boss with little word of a replacement. The team was recently acquired by OL Groupe, the French company that owns Olymique Lyonnais men's and women's teams.