It has been a long, dismal two season for fans of the Washington Spirit. With three games remaining in the 2018 season, the Washington Spirit has parted ways with head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra, effective immediately.
Assistant coach Tom Torres has been selected to serve as an interim head coach for Washington’s final three games of the 2018 NWSL season. President Chris Hummer has been appointed general manager.
“Jim has put as much of his heart and soul into women’s soccer, this league and this team as anyone,” said Spirit owner Bill Lynch. “He is a great professional with exceptional character, and we can’t thank him enough for his efforts and wish him the best of luck.”
The club will conduct a search for a new head coach at the conclusion of the season.
Gabarra’s team has posted a record of 7-30-8 in the last two years, and are just 2-15-4 this season. Even if the team won its final three games, there would be no improvement on last year’s 5-15-4 record.
Gabarra was hired in October 2015, when the Spirit’s former head coach Mark Parsons left the team to join the Portland Thorns. Parsons had been the head coach and general manager of the team for two years. Under Parsons, the team was 20-24-13 over two seasons.
In Gabarra’s first season at the helm, the Spirit was 12-5-3, and the team made it to the National Women’s Soccer League Championship game in 2016 but lost that game in the final seconds. After the success of that season, the team moved in a new direction trading or allowing some of the better-known players to move to other teams.
In Gabarra’s second season the team won just five games, and will not be able to improve upon this number this season.
Gabarra started his NWSL coaching career with Sky Blue FC coaching the team in the WPS in 2011 before leading them into the inaugural season of the NWSL. He earned a 24-22-20 record in three seasons from 2013-2015, including qualifying for the playoffs in 2013.
Prior to this latest stint with the Spirit, Gabarra spent ten years in the DC area coaching the Washington Freedom. He led the Freedom to back-to-back appearances in the WUSA Championship in 2002 and 2003, winning in 2003. After WUSA folded, he coached the Freedom to a USL W-League Championship in 2007. Gabarra also led the Washington Freedom to two consecutive appearances in WPS playoffs in 2009 and 2010.
The Spirit will finish its 6th NWSL campaign with three straight home games, starting tomorrow night, Wednesday, Aug. 22, at the Maryland SoccerPlex against Utah Royals FC at 7:30 pm.
The Spirit will host Portland Thorns FC at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, August 25 in the NWSL Game of the Week on ESPNEWS at 8:00 pm. The season finale will be played on Saturday, September 1 at the Maryland SoccerPlex against Sky Blue FC at 7:00 pm.
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Photos by Germantown Pulse