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Washington Spirit announce departure of Jim Gabarra

The Spirit will begin a search for a new head coach at the conclusion of the season

Caitlin Buckley

The Washington Spirit, with just two wins to their name in the 2018 NWSL season, announced on Tuesday morning that they fired head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra. Gabarra, who had taken over the roles before the start of the 2016 season, led the team to the NWSL final in 2016, losing out in penalties to the Western New York Flash.

Tom Torres, an assistant with the team, will take over the head coaching duties on an interim basis for the final three games of the season. Once the season ends, the team will begin the search for a new head coach to take the helm in 2019. Team president Chris Hummer will take over Gabarra’s duties as the general manager.

Since that 2016 final, in which the Spirit conceded a stoppage-time equalizer in extra time before losing on penalties, the team has only won 7 of its 45 games. The Spirit followed up their 2016 final appearance by finishing last in NWSL in 2017. This year, only the winless Sky Blue FC are between the Spirit and the basement of the standings once again.

Washington had a fair amount of injuries to deal with this year, but never got their season on track at any point. Their last win came back on May 23rd, when they beat Sky Blue. Since that win, the team has scored just 3 goals in 12 games, including just a single goal in their last eleven outings.

“Jim has put as much of his heart and soul into women’s soccer, this league and this team as anyone,” Spirit owner Bill Lynch said in a press release. “He is a great professional with exceptional character and we can’t thank him enough for his efforts and wish him the best of the luck.”

All three of the Spirit’s remaining games will be played at home venues. They host Utah Royals FC tomorrow at the Maryland SoccerPlex, and round out the season at the SoccerPlex on September 1st against Sky Blue. Next weekend, the team will host Portland Thorns FC at Audi Field, a game which will be televised on ESPNEWS.