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NWSL: Harvey to Utah, Pauw to H-Town

After news broke of the NWSL ceasing operations in Kansas City, but resuming them through Real Salt Lake, the hunt was on for the club’s first coach.

Real Salt Lake’s women’s club has yet to announce a name, but they announced Laura Harvey as their head coach Monday afternoon.

This isn’t Harvey’s first stint in the NWSL; she was formerly the head coach of the Seattle Reign from 2013-17. In 2014 and 2015, the Reign were the recipients of the NWSL Shield.

51-33-26 was Harvey’s all-time record as Reign head coach.

There had been rumors of Harvey joining U.S. Soccer after departing from the Reign. However, once the opportunity in Salt Lake City opened up, the coach jumped ship.

Harvey admitted in her introductory press conference that coming back to the NWSL wasn’t originally part of her plan.

“Visiting with [RSL Owner] Dell Loy Hansen, Craig Waibel, Mike Petke and others and having the chance to see their vision for the club locally and the sport nationally and internationally, it was impossible not to get excited about what RSL looks to do for women’s soccer,” said Harvey.

“The facilities and environment that we will be able to offer our players are world-class. This is a great place for me to continue to develop as a coach, and I believe we will be able to make a huge stamp on women’s soccer not just in Utah but nationwide,” Harvey, who was born in England, continued.

“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 Real Salt Lake GM, Craig Waibel. “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.”

The team, which is expected to have their name announced soon, will be competing during the 2018 season.

Pauw heads to H-Town

Real Salt Lake wasn’t the only team to acquire a new head coach.

The Houston Dash announced the hire of Vera Pauw on Monday. She is the second head coach in the club’s history.

A native of the Netherlands, Pauw made 89 appearances for the Dutch Women’s National Team from 1983-98. A defender, she only scored two goals.

The Dash is Pauw’s first league club that she will serve as head coach for. She had previously coached the national teams of Scotland, the Netherlands, Russia and South Africa.

She has not coached since 2016, after resigning from the South African team after the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“I’m very excited. It’s just a dream come true, isn’t it? To be able to be coach and play in facilities like BBVA Compass Stadium and in such a competitive league,” Pauw said. “Soccer is an evolving sport here in the U.S. with a unique background, and I am very excited about the opportunity ahead to work with a very talented roster. We have a solid core of players that will be key in reaching our goals for 2018 and beyond.”

“We are thrilled to have Vera as the next Dash head coach and look forward to her making positive contributions to the club,” Dash president Chris Canetti said. “She brings a wealth of experience at the highest level, a strong record of success, and a passion for the game. She also has a strong desire to be a part of our club and believes in what we are building here in Houston.”


Photo of Laura Harvey courtesy of Jane Gershovich/ISI Images.

Follow @RachaelMcKriger on Twitter for all NWSL coverage.

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Rachael McKriger
Sports Journalist

Rachael McKriger writes for RSEN Report (Lead Editor), Pittsburgh Sports Castle (Content Editor), Mon Goals and W2M Network, in addition to being a sports stringer/reporter for the Mon Valley Independent newspaper.

A senior of California Univ. of Pennsylvania, you can follow her on Twitter, @RachaelMcKriger, where you can find all of her articles. Search “McKriger Photography” on Facebook, to see her photos.

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