SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Laura Harvey is already an established success in the National Women’s Soccer League. She’s a two-time coach of the year, and knows she’ll be relied on heavily to build the RSL women’s team into a success.
“You could just tell it was going to be a collaborative effort between everybody,” Harvey said. “Already me and [RSL general manager] Craig [Waibel] are on the phone everyday looking at players and what we need and what we don’t need. I already know that my opinion is going to be valued.”
Harvey inherits the folding FC Kansas City team, a team that beat Harvey’s Seattle Reign twice to win championships.
“Thankfully, they’re on my side now and not my opponents,” she said. “So, hopefully that will work in my favor. I think the difference between this team and a true expansion team is we’ve got a team in place, and not just any team, a team that’s won two championships.”
As for the mere survival the NWSL, Harvey thinks the league is well past that point.
“With the backing of U.S. Soccer, and the backing of some of the MLS franchises, that just shows there’s a true interest in the women’s game,” said Harvey, who coached in the first season of the NWSL. “We’ve broken down so many barriers getting into a sixth season now, I think we’ve not turned the conversation from how can this league survive to how we can keep pushing and thriving.”
Harvey really expects the RSL women’steam to develop a loyal following in the community.
“Yeah, I just think women’s soccer in general in Utah is huge,” she said. “The D-1 programs, the youth soccer is massive too. We’ve got to make sure we tap into that, so we can get people out to watch the games.”
While the women’s team will work closely with the men’s, Harvey doesn’t have the same temperament as Mike Petke.
“I don’t think we have the same opinion about printers,” she said.