Royals FC names Scott Parkinson as interim coach

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Utah Royals at practice in Sandy, Tuesday March 20, 2018. Head coach Laura Harvey.

The Utah Royals FC announced the departure of coach Laura Harvey, who is leaving to coach the U.S. Women’s National Team’s Under-20 squad, and said that assistant coach Scott Parkinson will serve as the interim leader.

“Coaching internationally was the only job that would have interested me moving away from this role at Utah Royals FC,” Harvey said in a statement. “I’ve been wanting to get back into coaching international football, so I’m looking forward to the new challenge with the U-20 United States Youth National Team.”

Harvey was headed into the final year of a three-year contract. In her previous two years as coach of the Royals, she went 19-17-12 and missed the playoffs both seasons.

Prior to her stint in Utah, she coached the Seattle Reign for five seasons and won the National Women’s Soccer League Supporters Shield twice in a row.

Harvey said after the 2019 season that that she planned to return as coach of the Royals after announcing that she was no longer in the running to lead the USWNT senior team.

“Laura brought instant credibility to Royals FC and it’s been a pleasure working with her,” Royals and Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen said in a statement. “We wish her the best of luck with U.S. Soccer and look forward to seeing top young talent in the U.S. develop under her tutelage.”

Parkinson has served as Harvey’s assistant for the past two seasons. He coached for two years at Rutgers University prior to joining the Royals. The club said in a statement that he will be the interim coach while it conducts a formal search for Harvey’s replacement.

“It’s been a pleasure to build this team with Laura,” Royals general manager Stephanie Lee said. "And while she is leaving big shoes to fill, we are looking forward to the season ahead with much to accomplish.”

Royals sign defender

The club also announced Monday the signing of Taylor Leach, a defender who spent the past four seasons playing in Sweden.

Most recently, Leach played three seasons at Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC, where she was briefly teammates with forward Christen Press.

“After Sam Johnson’s retirement last season, we’ve been on the lookout for an additional center back that could bring some knowledge, experience and grit to our back line,” Lee said in a statement. “We were excited to find Taylor, and that she’s agreed to join Utah Royals FC.”

Tymrak retires

Midfielder Erika Tymrak announced her retirement Monday via Twitter, ending her seven-year career in professional soccer.

“The beautiful game has blessed me greatly,” Tymrak wrote. "But it’s time to start the next chapter in life.”

Tymrak appeared in 30 games and scored one goal for the Royals. She won the 2013 Rookie of the Year Award and won National Women’s Soccer League titles in 2014 and 2015 with the now-defunct FC Kansas City.

“For seven years she has given her all for her clubs, Utah Royals FC included, and we want to thank her for the time she spent with us and wish her luck in her next chapter,” Lee said in a statement.