What is Utah Royals FC looking for in its next head coach? Here’s what the team’s management wants.

After firing Amy Rodriguez on Sunday — a day after the Royals tied with Portland — the team’s management left fans with more questions than answers.

When Utah Royals FC fired coach Amy Rodriguez this week, the team’s leaders had the future in mind.

Rodriguez led the team to a 2-11-2 record and was let go after the Royals tied with Portland 0-0 last Saturday. Team president Michelle Hyncik was also removed from her position as part of a leadership change for the flailing expansion franchise.

In the days since, questions have arisen about the team’s future and direction under Kelly Cousins, the Utah Royals FC sporting director, and John Kimball, the Real Salt Lake president who will oversee the Royals for now, as they navigate the next six months of their ensuing rebuild.

“It was obviously something that wasn’t just a quick decision,” Cousins said of Rodriguez’s firing. “I think that’s important to know. … I believe that we’ve got a good six months to turn things around to get ready for next season. I think it gives the team time to really address where we need to be better on and off the pitch.

“Everyone that was involved in the decision felt that now was the right time for us to do that. So we can use the six months to keep building and make sure that we’re ready for next season.”

Cousins said the decision to fire Rodriguez and goalkeeper coach Maryse Bard-Martel was strictly based on the team’s lackluster performance this season, and it was better to make the decision now rather than later. She also said the firing, despite appearing impulsive to skeptics, was not made in haste.

“We knew this wasn’t going to be a light decision, and we wanted to treat it as delicately as we could, because of who Amy was and how she’s respected in this community,” Cousins said. “To the fans, I know this is an upsetting and a sad moment for everyone. That includes us as an organization, but sometimes life takes different paths.”

Rodriguez, according to Cousins, led the charge in finding the personnel and players for her system. While her vision ultimately failed, the Royals hope to build off the potential they’ve seen from their current roster moving forward.

Cousins also hinted that the team’s offensive issues have been rooted in a lack of confidence.

“I truly believe that we have a talented group,” Cousins said. “We just haven’t seen the best of them right now. “I think some of that comes with confidence. I don’t believe we’ve played with that confidence, especially over the last couple of weeks. I think we started to see glimpses of that on Saturday.”

The next task for Kimball and Cousins is looking for a talented and experienced head coach to replace Rodriguez. In particular, Cousins is looking for a leader who knows what the players want and need on a daily basis.

“I think for us, we’re going to take the time we need to make sure that the search is right,” Cousins said. “We don’t want to make a mistake on this. We want to make sure that the next people that we’re bringing in, whether it’s head coach, goalkeeper coach and a president, we need to make sure they’re the right people.

“Whether that’s in a month or if that in six months, I think (the goal) right now is to settle the team.”

While the last-place Royals look to fill the head coaching position, the next move in Cousins’ eyes is to climb up the standings of their league.

With a direction, the team’s management hopes that the players will be able to adjust accordingly and potentially flip the script after losing 11 of their last 15 games.

“I think we’re in a good position,” Cousins said, “that we can still be aggressive and we have been aggressive.