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Laura Harvey named U.S. U-20 women’s national team head coach

Laura Harvey joins the U.S. U-20 women’s national team as its head coach ahead of qualification for the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup

The U.S. Soccer Federation named Laura Harvey head coach of the U-20 U.S. women’s national team Monday morning.

Harvey, 39, has spent the last seven seasons in the National Women’s Soccer League, first as head coach and general manager of Seattle Reign FC (2013-17) and most recently as head coach of Utah Royals FC (2018-20).

She won the 2014 and 2015 NWSL Shields with Seattle and was also named NWSL Coach of the Year in both those seasons. Harvey, who also served as interim coach of the U.S U-23 women’s national team in 2017, owns an NWSL coach record of 72-52-38.

“Laura is a talented and passionate coach whose knowledge translates extremely well to the international game,” U.S. women’s national team general manager Kate Markgraf, who made the hire, said in a prepared statement. “Her women’s club and Youth National Team experience in England, her time with our Youth National Teams and her seven professional seasons in the NWSL have prepared her well to help mold the development of our next generation. We are extremely excited to have her as a part of our coaching staff and the U.S. Soccer family.”

A native of England, Harvey is about to begin the U.S. Soccer Pro License Course and will be its second female candidate, though her coaching experience goes back almost two decades.

She served as an assistant coach for the Birmingham City women’s club team (2002-06) before being promoted to head coach and remained at the club until 2008. She has also coached at Arsenal (2008-12) and served as an assistant for the England U-17, U-19, and U-23 programs on a part-time basis from 2005-11.

Harvey’s new role as U-20 women’s national team head coach is a full-time position. She will oversee all aspects of the U-20 program and manage the integration and programming of the U-18 and U-19 women’s national teams.

Her first foray into the job will be a 26-player training camp in Lakewood Ranch, Florida from Jan. 9-20. She will select 20 players from that camp and build a roster for the Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship, which runs Feb. 15 to March 1 in the Dominican Republic and serves as a qualifier for the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in August.

“I’m really excited and happy to come on board with U.S. Soccer,” Harvey said in a prepared statement. “I’m looking forward to what the immediate future holds and I’m ready to get to work with the most talented young players in the country.

“Getting back to coaching international football has been something I’ve been interested in and to be involved with this new generation of National Team players is going to be a great challenge and responsibility.”

The Equalizer first reported Harvey’s hiring on Jan. 3.

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