Sky Blue FC Hires Jim Gabarra, Retains Rick Stainton

Just over a week after resigning from his head coaching position with the Washington Freedom, Jim Gabarra signed on to head Sky Blue FC.
Jim Gabarra was the head coach of the Washington Freedom for ten years. After resigning from his post, it didn't even take ten days for him to find a new job.

"Just recharging the batteries at this time," said Gabarra in an e-mail about his plans after the resignation. "I will see what opportunities are out there and give them all proper consideration."

Clearly Gabarra's batteries are quick to recharge. Only nine days after leaving, Sky Blue FC announced Gabarra signed on with the inaugural Women's Professional Soccer champion (2009) to be the head coach and technical director.

"I expect to build a team that will make the area very proud, and I'm excited about the challenge," Gabarra said. "It's going to be an interesting year that will involve some change, yet we will make our decisions with positive results as the goal."

Sky Blue FC ended its season with Rick Stainton as its coach. Despite not making it to the postseason, the New Jersey-based franchise finished 2010 strong, going 1-1-3 in the final five matches, finishing three points out of a playoff spot, behind Gabarra's old club, Washington.

In those final three matches, all ties, Sky Blue FC allowed just a single goal while under the defensive mindset of Stainton, who took over for Pauliina Miettinen in July. Stainton will remain on the coaching staff as Gabarra's assistant coach.

"When we had the opportunity to pursue someone like Jim Gabarra, with his experience and knowledge, I thought it was a tremendous opportunity for us," said Stainton. "From day one, I always said that I want what is best for this team and our players, and I am sincere in that statement. We are fortunate to have someone with the experience that Jim has at the helm, and I personally consider myself fortunate to be able to assist him."

Gabarra becomes the sixth head coach for Sky Blue FC, going into just its third season. But General Manager Gerry Marrone believes this is the right man for the job.

"A proven winner in Jim Gabarra unexpectedly became available to us, and we saw it as an opportunity to improve our team," said Marrone. "Having both Jim and Rick here to lead our team puts us into a very exciting position as we set our sights on bringing the WPS Championship back to New Jersey in 2011."

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