2003 Apr 15

From today's Sounders news release:

Sounders Legend Jim Gabriel Joins Coaching Staff

(Seattle, WA) - The Seattle Sounders today announced that former Sounders player and coach Jim Gabriel will join the team as an assistant coach for the 2003 season.

Gabriel brings more than 40 years of professional soccer experience to the Sounders staff. He started his career with Scotland's' Dundee FC at the age of sixteen. He went on to play seven years for Everton of the English Premier League where he won a league championship in 1963 and the FA Cup in 1966. Gabriel played for Southhampton between 1967-1972. He had two caps with the Scottish National Team and six caps as the captain of the Under 23 Scottish National Team.

In 1974, Gabriel came to the United States as a player/coach with the Sounders. He had great success as a midfielder/defender and scored the first goal in the Kingdome in 1976 against Pele and the New York Cosmos. He became head coach in 1977 and coached several Sounder legends including Mike England, Geoff Hurst and Bobby Moore to the North American Soccer League's (NASL) championship game that season. Gabriel went on to coach George Best and the San Jose Earthquakes (NASL) from 1980-1982.

After the disbanding of the NASL, Gabriel turned his attention to adult soccer in Washington. In 1984, he and other influential Seattle soccer figures started FC Seattle, the roots of the modern day Sounders.

In 1986, Gabriel returned to England where he coached Bournemouth to a 2nd Division Championship. He then coached the Premier League's Everton reserves until 1997.

Late in 1997 Gabriel came back to Seattle and joined the University of Washington coaching staff. He helped lead Washington to four divisional championships and was instrumental in the development of current MLS and Sounders players Ryan Edwards, Viet Nguyen, Zach Kingsley, Craig Waibel and Ian Russell.

"I couldn't be more thrilled and honored to have Jimmy on the coaching staff," said second year Sounder head coach Brian Schmetzer, who was coached by Gabriel in 1984. "It's another positive step for the franchise by bringing such a knowledgeable soccer mind back to the Sounders."