A couple days after announcing its name and logo, Seattle Reign FC of the new National Women’s Soccer League has a head coach: Laura Harvey, who has coached the Arsenal Ladies since midway through the 2009/10 season.
Harvey led Arsenal to three-straight league titles — 2009/10 in the FA Women’s Premier League and then in 2010/11 and 2011/12 once the top tier became the FA Women’s Super League.
The Gunners won three trophies in 2011 when you include the FA Women’s Cup and FA WSL Continental Cup, which led to Harvey being named FA WSL Coach of the Year. Arsenal won the Continental Cup again this past season for a total of six trophies under her leadership.
The 32 year old also served as an assistant coach for the England Women’s national team from 2005-2011 at the U-17, U-19 and U-23 levels.
“As a proven winner with the ability to bring the best out of each player, Laura is the type of coach that a player wants to play for,” said general manager Amy Carnell in a news release. “Having managed some of the world’s best at Arsenal and within the English National Team system, she is composed under pressure and clearly understands what it takes to bring home a championship.”
Harvey played professionally with the Wolverhampton Wanderers and then at Birmingham City Ladies FC, which is also where her coaching career started, first as an assistant from 2002-06 and then as head coach from 2006-08. She joined Arsenal’s staff in 2008.
“I’m excited for the new challenge ahead. … The ambitions of the club were something that interested me in making the move,” Harvey said in the release. “As a club we will be trying to establish ourselves as a leader within the new league, whilst trying to build a long term future for Seattle Reign FC. The future is an exciting one for everyone involved at Seattle Reign FC.”
Here’s a report from Arsenal.com on Harvey’s departure, which also notes she will join Reign FC in January.
“I want to thank Laura on behalf of everyone at the Club for the fantastic work she has done over the last few years,” said Arsenal Ladies general manager Vic Akers on the club website.
“What she has achieved with this team — both in terms of the trophies she’s won and the players she’s brought through — has been remarkable.”
More announcements from Reign FC are expected in the next few weeks, including player allocation/signings, a home venue, ticket information and a season schedule.
The hiring of a head coach, however, was another big step.
“Laura has the experience, talent and tenacity to drive our club to the highest levels of success,” said Reign FC owner Bill Predmore in a release. “Laura has proven that she can build a winning squad and has a track record of consistently delivering brilliant results — with Laura at the helm we look forward to a successful campaign in 2013.”
Here’s some video of Harvey, as passed along on Twitter: