The Seattle Reign, the Emerald City’s franchise in the new National Womens Soccer League announced today that Laura Harvey will be their new coach.
Ms Harvey is currently at Arsenal Ladies where she will be fulfilling her commitments before flying to the USA.
Shortly after the announcement, she told Prost Amerika over the phone that she hopes to arrive in Seattle by mid February.
Here is Part 1 of our Q and A.
Prost Amerika: How did you first hear about Seattle’s interest?
Laura Harvey: They contacted me this week and it’s just been a bit of a whirlwind since then really. Once I had the first initial contact, I was interested in what was happening obviously with the new league. Over this side of the pond, it’s been something everyone’s been intrigued about. I wanted to learn a little bit more about it, and after conversations with the owner and the General Manager, it was clear that it looks like an exciting opportunity and obviously one I wanted to get involved with.
Prost Amerika: You said people were intrigued by the new league. Can you give readers here some idea of what people are saying over there in England about the our new women’s league?
Laura Harvey: It’s an exciting time obviously. Previous history with the league has been that it hasn’t been sustainable. I think that’s something that collectively as clubs and as as a league, we’ve got to make sure that’s the thing that we’ve got to look at. The league has to be something that stays. It can’t be something that lasts for one year or two years and then disappears again.
Prost Amerika: So the infrastructure was a big influence?
Laura Harvey: That’s been the biggest thing from a European point of view. Traditionally our leagues were always sustainable and that’s always been the question as to why that hasn’t been the case in the States. So I think that’s what has been intriguing to listen to; the ways that the lessons that have been learnt and the things that are now in place that maybe were not in place in previous times, those make it such an intriguing and inviting opportunity.
Prost Amerika: You said that Amy (General Manager Amy Carnell) first called you just in the last week, so I’m bound to ask you this – what do you know about the City of Seattle?
Laura Harvey: I know that the weather is pretty much like it is in England which obviously wasn’t a pull. (laughs) I know that its a fantastic city. I haven’t been there myself. A lot of my friends have been there. My brother actually lives in Los Angeles and he’s been to Seattle a lot of times and the moment I said it to him, he was like “Oh, it’s a fantastic city. One of the best he’s ever been to.” So a obviously since then I’ve been reading up on it.
Obviously we have the fantastic tv program called Greys Anatomy over here, so we get to to see Seattle every week. Just little things like that. But since the first phone calls, I’ve been doing a lot of research about it. It seems like an interesting place to live. A great city with lots of things to do which is exactly how we like it.
Prost Amerika: If all this happened in the last week or so. When will you be able to come over?
Laura Harvey: I have to work out my notice with Arsenal. I’m looking at potentially coming out towards the middle of February. But I’m hoping that I might be able to be around for the college draft*, so that we can try and get that in place as soon as possible. I do have some legal requirements that I have to fulfill with Arsenal which certainly is the right way to do it. But yeah looking to get out there and be up and running and in my house etc etc by the middle of February.
Prost Amerika: Just when it might have stopped raining. I’m sure it’s a coincidence
Laura Harvey: Oh see? That is just music to my ears!
Prost Amerika: When you told the Arsenal players, what was their reaction at the thought of you coming over here?
Laura Harvey: They were all very pleased for me, They appreciate that it’s a massive opportunity. US soccer has always been deemed as one of the best and I think that when people from our country have ever had an opportunity to go over there whether it be as a player or a coach, I don’t think anyone would begrudge them that opportunity. A few of them were quite sad to see me leave because we’ve had some really successful times but every single one of them was pleased for me and congratulated me on it. A double-edged sword, pleased but obviously disappointed that the journey we have been on together has now ended.
Prost Amerika: Did any of them ask if they could come?
Laura Harvey: Maybe but not to play soccer just to live in Seattle was half the pull. They’re all obsessed with Greys Anatomy. That was one of the big things that just kept coming up in conversation.
In the second part of the interview, she talks about leaving Arsenal, the hopes for her successor, the biggest differences between the style of football European and American women play and what excites her most about coaching once she gets over here.
* The first National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) College Draft will take place on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at the NSCAA Convention in Indianapolis.
The draft will consist of four rounds and the order will be determined by a blind draw. Once the order is set, the draft will be conducted in a “snake” format (i.e. the teams will select 1-8 in the first round, 8-1 in the second round, 1-8 in the third round and 8-1 in the fourth round). Teams will have a specific amount of time to make their picks in each round. A total of 32 players will be selected.
Players who completed their collegiate eligibility in 2012 can be selected in the 2013 NWSL College Draft. Those players who have been out of college for a year or more, are former professional players, or are currently playing overseas and are out of contract, are considered free agents. Teams will be allowed to sign free agents during a specific window of time, which will be determined soon. The U.S., Canadian and Mexican National Team players will be allocated to clubs at a date to be determined.