Just days before the start of the inaugural NWSL season, the Seattle Reign announced that Amy Carnell had resigned her position as General Manager and that head coach Laura Harvey would take over the position. The official confirmation came shortly after Liviu Bird reported the news on SoccerWire. Carnell, who was the club's first-ever employee, cited "personal reasons" for the decision.
Neither Carnell nor Reign owner Bill Predmore were willing to offer any further insight into the reasons for the decision when contacted. Carnell had filled a similar role for the Sounders Women last season.
"I want to thank the club for the opportunity to help bring professional women¹s soccer to Seattle," Carnell said in a team release. "I will always be a fan of the club and wish them all the best for this season and beyond."
Harvey filled a similar dual role when she was at Arsenal and seemed perfectly fine with shouldering the extra responsibility.
"It just goes from a three-way conversation to a two-way conversation," Harvey told Sounder at Heart. "Three-way conversations are just another opinion and football is a game of opinion. The final decision making will come down to me and Bill, whether it's better or worse is yet to be decided."
Making the transition that much easier is the relationship between Predmore and Harvey.
"There is a very strange but ultimately very good connection between Laura and myself," he told Sounder at Heart. "I think that is probably more important than how many people are in the room. We agree on a very fundamental level about what the organization is about."
Although no one would give specifics, there were indications that this was a move that had been in the making for at least a few days. Players and other team staff had already been notified of the decision.
The timing of the decision is clearly less than ideal, but this is just the latest bump in the road for a team that will open the season without any of the three United States international players allocated to them. Amy Rodriguez (pregnancy) will miss the entire season, while Hope Solo (wrist) and Megan Rapinoe (currently with Olympique Lyonnais) will join closer to midseason.
"I like the position we're playing from here," Predmore said. "There have been a lot of teams with more visibility and faced less adversity, at least in terms of the allocated players. It's given us a scrappy mentality and we have a little bit of a chip on our shoulders. I like it and feel very good about it."
The Reign will open their season on the road against the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday.