What A Ledge: Reign FC’s Laura Harvey named 2015 NWSL Coach of the Year
It’s been quite a year for Laura Harvey.
As her team prepares for the NWSL Championship in a rematch of 2014's Final against FC Kansas City, the league announced today that Harvey was voted the 2015 NWSL Coach of the Year.
Harvey, 35, is no stranger to the accolade and becomes the first coach to win the award on multiple occasions, having also been named Coach of the Year for the 2014 season.
The Nuneaton, England native led Reign FC to its second consecutive NWSL Shield this season with a 13–3–4 record and 43 points — 10 more than the second-place Chicago Red Stars.
The former Arsenal LFC coach, who also serves as Seattle’s general manager, presided over a second straight undefeated home campaign. Reign FC went 8–0–2 during the regular season on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium after posting an 8–0–4 mark last year.
“It’s been an honor to play for Laura for 3 seasons,” said Reign FC goalkeeper Hope Solo. “She continues to impress me with her knowledge of the game, her commitment to our style of play, to our organization and to our team. Laura has the ability to manage players respectfully and professionally, and its those qualities that make for a true leader and a coach that players love to play for. She is most deserving of the coach of the year award. I’m proud and privileged to be able to call her my coach!”
Seattle had two eight-game unbeaten runs during the 2015 campaign — one of which included a season-best six-game winning streak from July 22 to August 26.
Harvey’s team finished the 2015 regular season with the No. 1-ranked offense in the league — having scored 41 goals in 20 games. On the defensive end, Reign FC was ranked No. 2 in the league, conceding 21 goals — just one more than FC Kansas City.
“I can think of no other coach more deserving of this award than Laura,” said Reign FC captain Keelin Winters. “To coach a team to the finals two years in a row in such a competitive league is a testament to her ability as a coach and manager. Laura is a world-class coach and we are lucky to have her here in Seattle.”
Additionally, Reign FC ranked best in the league for goals scored in the second half of games, outscoring opponents 26–13 over the final 45 minutes for a plus-13 goal difference.
“Laura connects with the squad first as people — not players. It is an honest, authentic approach that has created deep connections between her and the team,” said Reign FC owner Bill Predmore. “Laura has coupled that approach with an incredible understanding of the game and a relentless drive for greatness. It is a unique combination of talent and tenacity that has been incredibly effective on and off the field, and has led directly to this well-deserved honor.”
Seattle Reign FC will return to action against FC Kansas City in the 2015 NWSL Championship Game on Thursday, October 1 at 6:30 p.m. (PT) at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. in a match nationally broadcast live on FOX Sports 1. Ticket information can be found here.
The NWSL awards are voted on by a selection of journalists that cover the league on a consistent basis, club officials, players and fans.