Laura Harvey Steps Down as Seattle Reign FC Head Coach and GM
Vlatko Andonovski Named Head Coach of Reign FC
Seattle Reign FC today announced that Laura Harvey has resigned her position as head coach and general manager of the club. Reign FC also announced that it has signed former FC Kansas City head coach Vlatko Andonovski to a two-year deal to serve as the club’s head coach and executive director of Reign Academy.
Harvey will continue working with Reign FC through the end of the year, supporting Andonovski through the transition and working with the staff, coaches and players in the Reign Academy.
“I am deeply appreciative of all Laura gave to our organization over the past five years. She is a brilliant coach, but more importantly, she is a tremendous individual – there is nobody I would have rather worked with to build the club,” said Reign FC owner Bill Predmore. “Laura’s impact will be felt long after she departs, as she helped establish the enduring values that define what it means to be a part of our organization. Teresa and I will be her lifelong friends and fans, as well as her biggest advocates as she pursues her next opportunity.”
During her five-year reign Harvey delivered the league’s second-best all-time regular-season record, with 51 wins, 33 losses and 26 draws – good for 179 points over 110 matches. Harvey took the team to two NWSL Finals while collecting the NWSL Shield in 2014 and 2015, along with a pair of NWSL Coach of the Year Awards.
Harvey may be best remembered for the historic transformation she engineered in taking the club from the second-worst finish in the inaugural NWSL season to an epic 2014 season in which the club delivered the NWSL’s all-time best regular-season finish with 54 points (2.25 points per game), and tied for most all-time wins in a season with (16), while featuring the league’s best all-time single-season goal differential (+30) and longest unbeaten streak (16 games).
“When Bill [Predmore] and I sat down after the season to talk about the future, I just wasn’t sure what I wanted – but I knew the club needed a decision about my plans. Given my uncertainty it seemed best for all that I step away now to give the club a proper amount of time to hire my replacement,” said Laura Harvey. “I’m going to take a little bit of time to reflect and decide what the best next move is for me. I hope that an opportunity comes my way and I will decide if it is the right one. It’s been a tough decision to make but I feel like it’s the right one for me and for the club.”
From the bottom of my heart. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/x2mQgk8eAa
— Laura Harvey (@LH1505) November 7, 2017
Perhaps the only coach that can match Laura’s long-term success in the NWSL is Reign FC’s new head coach, Vlatko Andonovski.
During Vlatko’s time at FCKC he led the club to three playoff appearances and back-to-back NWSL Championships in 2014 and 2015 (with both wins coming at Reign FC’s expense). Vlatko has the second-most all-time regular-season wins (behind Harvey) with 47, while his teams have given up the fewest goals per game (1.14) over the league’s first five seasons.
“When I asked Laura who she thought would be best to lead Reign FC after her departure, there was only one name she provided – Vlatko Andonovski,” said Predmore. “I have long admired how Vlatko works with his players, appreciated the grace, precision and resilience of how his teams play, and have long coveted the trophies he delivered as a result of his approach. I am confident he is the best person to build on Laura’s legacy and will help the club achieve its goal of winning an NWSL championship.”
“Reign FC has established itself as one of the best teams in the NWSL. Every year they are one of the teams contending for the playoffs and a championship. Bill [Predmore] and Laura [Harvey] have done a tremendous job building the organization, and every player and coach wants to be a part of it,” said new Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “I wasn’t initially sure if now was the right time or not, but after meeting with Bill [Predmore], I felt this was different and something I wanted to be a part of. We have a very similar mindset, and our strengths complement each other. I think it will be a great partnership to take this organization to the next level.”
“For me, Vlatko was the perfect choice to build on what I’ve worked so hard to create in Seattle,” said Harvey. “I have a massive amount of respect for all he accomplished in KC, know that he will work well with Bill and the technical staff, and believe he can get the most out of our squad. I wish him the best of luck with the team and will do all I can to support him as he takes on this challenge.”
“Laura [Harvey] is one of the best coaches in the game,” said Andonovski. “I’ve always admired her and the job she’s done in Seattle. She’s someone that had a hand in changing the landscape of women’s soccer in this country. Having her endorsement in this is an honor to me. I hope I can continue her work and the unique culture she created.”