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Craig Harrington named Utah Royals FC head coach

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Craig Harrington named Utah Royals FC head coach (Photo: Utah Royals / screengrab){ }

The Utah Royals have a new head coach.

Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen introduced former Chicago Red Stars assistant coach Craig Harrington as the club’s second head coach, replacing Laura Harvey, who is leaving to coach the United States U-20 team.

The Red Stars finished second in the National Women’s Soccer League, while the Royals finished in a tie for 5th and missed the playoff for the second year in a row. Harrington said:

I am very grateful to Dell Loy Hansen and Stephanie Lee for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started on repaying their faith in my vision for the future of the club. I enjoyed my time in Chicago and the run to the championship game but making the move to Utah Royals FC was an easy decision for one key reason: potential. The ambition of the club, combined with the hunger and talent of the players, is a powerful mix. I am passionate about success and I am ready to bring that mentality to the Royals, every day.

Harrington, 38, helped coach the Red Stars to a 23-12-13 record with back-to-back appearances in the NWSL Playoffs, including the club’s highest finish as the 2019 runners-up.

Additionally, during Harrington’s tenure, former Red Stars forward Sam Kerr won back-to-back Golden Boot awards and was voted the 2019 NWSL Most Valuable Player. Before coaching in the NWSL, Harrington served as the Technical Director and Head Coach for the Turks and Caicos Men’s National Team where he helped elevate the squad to its highest-ever FIFA Ranking, jumping 27 spots in just five months.

Harrington got his start coaching in 2010 with the LA Galaxy Academy where he saw dozens of players move through the system to the first team, LA Galaxy II and even the national team. As Head Coach of the U-16 squad Harrington led the team to consecutive US Soccer Development SoCal Division Titles. In 2011 and 2012 he was part of the technical staff for the Major League Soccer side when they won two consecutive MLS Cups.

Watch Harrington’s introductory press conference here and then watch him Friday night at 10:35 with David James on KMYU Talkin’ Sports.

Utah Royals FC season tickets are on sale now at UtahRoyalsFC.com or by calling 844.REAL.TIX. The club is preparing for the start of its third season in the National Women’s Soccer League.