The Jimmy Gabriel Memorial Scholarship Fund

Washington State Legends of Soccer is pleased to announce establishment of the Jimmy Gabriel Memorial Scholarship Fund, to further assist our state’s youth in becoming their best selves. For more than 40 years, Jimmy Gabriel’s influence on the development of our state’s soccer community, on several levels, cannot be overstated. Now, thanks to the generous support and leadership of individuals and organizations, the Jimmy Gabriel Memorial Scholarship Fund can build on that legacy.

Our community was profoundly saddened by Jimmy’s passing in 2021 at the age of 80, however we believe that through the JGMSF his spirit lives on. The fund will be administered by Washington State Legends of Soccer, a 501(c)3 organization founded in 2016 to celebrate our state’s soccer past and preserve its future.

“Jimmy Gabriel was an inspiration as a player and coach for generations of Pacific Northwest soccer fans,” said WA Legends president Frank Gallo. “After his success playing and coaching professionally, he shared his insights about our beautiful game and his genuine compassion for fellow players and fans from college ages down to youth levels.  Jimmy lives on in the memories of all of us whose lives he touched.  His scholarship fund is a wonderful reminder for us and truly a blessing for recipients.”

Friends Paying Tribute

Two good friends of Jimmy Gabriel who share his ties to the original Sounders, spearheaded the movement to establish the JGMSF, with the blessing of his family. David Gillett played beside and for Jimmy during the NASL club’s first five seasons. Alan Hinton, who succeeded Jimmy as coach, grew close to him in recent decades. They worked together on Sounders FC broadcasts and shared stories of playing in England’s top division, coaching the Sounders, working with youth and young professionals.

“From the moment the idea of contributing to a young person’s education was suggested, I knew that Jimmy Gabriel would have agreed this is a perfect vehicle to honor his life’s work,” said Gillett. “As a player and a person, Jimmy was intelligent and analytical, always willing to help others with coaching and personal advice. He understood that education was the key to developing life skills, and in conjunction with sport, one’s quality of life would be assured.”

“This scholarship is about giving young people what they need to succeed,” said Hinton. “Jimmy had a special gift. He would say to players, ‘How can we work together to make you a better player and person?’ He was always positive, always empowering, always thinking of ways to make training a place to enjoy the game.” 

Mr. Sounder and More

Jimmy Gabriel was a son of Scotland, however more than half of his life was spent in Washington, as a coach and player. Beyond being the original Mr. Sounder, he worked with youth, collegiate men and women, senior amateurs and professionals. Jimmy was always seeking ways to get the most out of every player’s potential and harness those abilities such that the team would perform with a force far greater than 11 the individuals.

In spring of 2022, WA Legends will begin accepting applications to the Jimmy Gabriel Memorial Scholarship Fund. We encourage anyone and any organization who benefitted from Jimmy’s countless contributions, to consider donating toward this fund. Washington State Legends of Soccer is a 501(c)3 registered charity.

Making History: It’s a Process

There’s a fair amount of rigor that goes into producing content at our online museum. While it would’ve been great to publish our entire history of Washington soccer when this platform first launched in 2018, the fact was our vast history, dating to around 1890, had not been written at length. Or researched. Or vetted

We are projecting that the WA Legends online museum will be fully launched during the first half of 2022. Yet before the switches are flipped on the 15 remaining years, here’s a little bit about what’s happening behind the curtain. First, we take the known history and explore the context. There have been summaries from several sources over the past few decades, so we are not flying blind. For the past 50-60 years, it’s been fairly well documented by media. For instance, we know that in 1981 the Sounders were victorious in a major NASL tournament; a Seattle women’s amateur club (Ramlosa) won a second straight national championship; Highline claimed the WIAA boys’ state tournament; and the U.S. Soccer Federation held its annual meetings in Seattle. There’s much more to those stories, however.

We dive into newspaper and periodical archives, college record books, high school annuals, media guides and personal keepsakes to find supporting facts. We solicit photos from schools and photographers. We search for video or audio recordings. We scour online sources, and we have interviewed many of the newsmakers themselves.

Once we pull together the facts, the curating, writing and editing phase begins. Photos and videos are prepared, and all that is uploaded to the online museum’s back end. That’s an exhaustive process followed by copyediting and tagging, to make the artifacts and stories searchable. Finally, there is feature-length story to research and write about significant milestones achieved in a given year. And then we do it all again for the next year and the next.

We know there’s more stories, more facts, more context that our community can provide. And that’s the great thing about this platform: It’s always a work in progress. So, if you reach out and contact us with further information and resources, they can be added to the museum. 

This is not glamorous or sexy work. It’s laborious – but it’s also a labor of love. We want to tell Washington’s story, the story of a state that has always punched above its weight in the world of soccer. We want people, here and around the world, to remember that. And we truly hope it will drive others to dare to dream, to seize opportunities and give back to this great game, because that’s our nature in Washington. More than anything, we love this game.

WA Legends makes this content available for free to all. We would really appreciate your continued financial support, to expand the online museum and make it even more inviting and accessible. Many of you have been generously giving, and we stretch those dollars to the utmost. So, keep telling us your stories. Share this great resource with others. And please consider making a donation.

Best wishes to you all in 2022, when we promise to reach the finish line – and keep going.


2021 Scholarship Awarded

Washington State Legends of Soccer is pleased to announce that our 2021/22 scholarship recipient is Eduardo Duvan Vaca-Trujillo of Lake Tapps.The WA Legends scholarship committee reviewed applications and made the determination. The scholarship fund was established in 2019, thanks to the contributions of generous donors like you.

Duvan is enrolled in graduate school for a master’s in cyber security at Grand Canyon University. He is the first in his family to graduate from college, completing his bachelor’s at Pacific Lutheran, where he also played soccer for the Lutes.

Presenting Duvan with the WA Legends scholarship certificate is board secretary Debbie Barlow. Congratulations and best wishes to Duvan, and our deep gratitude to all those who contributed to our scholarship fund.

To make a donation to the scholarship fund, pleaseclick here.

Your October Harvest

A bounty is about to be delivered to your doorstep. Throughout much of October we will be sharing new content at our online museum. Our objective was to release 15 new ‘years’ before 2022, and we see no reason to wait until the holidays to bear gifts. These 15 years spans eight decades and contain hundreds of written entries, lists, photos and videos, so there will be something of interest to every generation of our thriving Washington soccer community. 

Our museum platform makes the researched and curated content easily searchable. Type in your subject of interest, and a page will populate with all the hits published to date. We believe this makes Washington’s soccer history among the most accessible in the world – and much of our history is world-class as well.

We will activate a new year on a daily basis, from October 11 through October 25. Before that, we will be sharing one of our vaulted one-on-one interviews on our YouTube channel. Our hope is to edit and produce a few more of these by next spring.

We constantly scour record books, newspaper archives and other publications to identify worthy subjects for our museum, however we are always seeking additional submissions from every corner of the state. If you have an artifact, story or milestone achievement you believe worthy of consideration, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us.

As we look toward 2022, our goal is to fill the final gap in our online museum and make our history complete, from 1890-2021. To do that requires that 14 more years be researched, curated, written and edited – and we are determined to get it done. We make all this online content free to the world. But there is a cost, and we appreciate any financial support you can kindly provide. Please consider making a donation.

Jimmy Gabriel (1940-2021)

Jimmy Gabriel, both instrumental and influential to the advancement of Puget Sound area soccer for more than 35 years and the original Mr. Sounder, has died. Gabriel, 80, passed July 10 at Banner Health Center in Phoenix. We wish to express our deepest sympathies to his wife Pat and daughters Karen, Janet and Samantha and their families.

Gabriel won friends throughout his life while exhibiting a can-do, selfless spirit and instilling belief in others. At their best, his teams exhibited those same qualities; they pulled together to reach and surpass lofty goals and form lasting relationships. He was a teacher of the game and an inspirational force, giving of his time and talent wherever his travels took him. Gabriel recognized the strong connection between players and fans, and by lifting his players, their play would lift the crowd, who would then lift the team further. He knew the game, he competed hard, and he was driven to win. He coached up teammates, and his play was described as the perfect blend of silk and steel.

Gabriel served as original captain and second head coach of the NASL Seattle Sounders as well as the first coaching director for Washington Youth Soccer. He was coaching director and later head coach for FC Seattle, which provided a competitive environment for development of the area’s top players following the NASL’s demise. Later, Gabriel served as an assistant coach for the University of Washington men’s and women’s programs, and he was Brian Schmetzer’s top assistant with the A-League Sounders.

Conversations with a Legends – Olympics Edition

In anticipation of the Tokyo Summer Games, WA Legends is rolling out a YouTube miniseries: Conversations with a Legend – Olympics Edition. We share our Zoom visits with some of Olympians and aspiring Olympians from the past 40-plus years. Beginning July 19 we will drop daily episodes on our YouTube channel. Our featured guests are Jeff Stock, Brent Goulet, Kasey Keller and Hope Solo.

Like us, viewers will be taken inside the Olympic experience and learn more about its impact on Jeff, Brent, Kasey and Hope. For instance, why was the Moscow boycott a mixed blessing for Stock? Which star athletes from other sports became fast friends of Goulet? Why did being left off the 1992 team prove a career boost for Keller? And why was getting a gold medal at Athens not satisfying to Solo?  

We hope you enjoy and share these with others.

Geoff Wall (1941-2021)

On April 27, 2021, we lost a unique and longstanding contributor to our state’s strong soccer community. Geoff Wall was 80. Whether it was through playing, coaching or conducting camps, Geoff was known to many. He was a friend, a father, a husband and restauranteur, operating Piccadilly Circus in Snohomish for the past 30-plus years. A gathering to share your Geoff Wall stories will be held from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, May 23, at Piccadilly Circus in Snohomish. Food and drinks will be provided. 

Geoff Wall (ca 2016)

What We Learned from the Pros

Our webinar cast, clockwise from upper left: moderator Tom Glasgow, Sam Hiatt, Katherine Reynolds, Morgan Weaver, Kelyn Rowe and Cristian Roldan.

What We Learned form the Pros

On April 12, Washington State Legends of Soccer hosted a live webinar with five local pros, each of them having developed their game, or some stage of it, here in Washington. The objective: To share insight into what it takes to reach the highest levels of the game. Learning from the Pros is now available to view on the WA Legends YouTube channel.

Here are a few takeaways from the panel, which was comprised of Samantha Hiatt (OL Reign), Katherine Reynolds (recently retired, Portland Thorns), Cristian Roldan (Sounders), Kelyn Rowe (Sounders) and Morgan Weaver (Portland Thorns).

Question: When did you begin to realize you could play at the professional level?

Hiatt: When I was called into my first national camp at 16.

Roldan: It wasn’t until my first year of college that I realized I could play at the next level.

Q: When was the biggest adjustment to your mindset?

Reynolds: The biggest change from club to college was just the amount that we were training and the time we had to spend in the gym…The biggest jump was college to pro. We were used to being one of the best players on our club team or in college, and then you’re in the pros and everyone’s that good or better, and it’s a wake-up call.

Rowe: the last jump (to the pros) by far is the widest gap. Everyone was already bigger, faster, stronger than me.

Weaver: From high school to college what was huge for me was the weight room. I never lifted in high school…Going from college to pros, it’s the speed of play.

Q: How did you keep active and in shape during COVID lockdown?

Weaver: I’d always bike every morning and try to go on a run every single day and just get ins some touches in the apartment.

Rowe: I was in a small apartment in Boston, and it was quite cold…I ordered a foam ball to hit against my wall and couch – and may have knocked my TV down.

Q: What characteristics make for a high-level player?

Reynolds: The first thing is a work ethic. You have to want it. You have to put in the time and the work.

Roldan: Determination. You have to be mentally sharp each and every practice. Each offseason you need to come in ready to go, fit and just wanting to get better. If you surround yourself with people who want to do the same, it can really translate to that person wanting to work just as hard.

Q: How did you approach recruiting and choosing a college?

Rowe: Before going away (to play), I would email 20-25 coaches…and tell them I was going to be on this field at this time. I did that every weekend from my freshman year until I signed. You send those out. Don’t be embarrassed if you have a bad game. Don’t burn any bridges. You email back; you be a good kind person, and that goes a long way.

Hiatt: The vibe of the team is important because you spend so much time with these people every day, and they’re going to be your community…How did you feel talking to people on the team. Relationships with your teammates reflect your overall collegiate experience.

Reynolds: You have to think, if soccer was taken away, would you still be happy there?

Q: What’s your typical game day preparation?

Roldan: I like to have my omelet with avocado and coffee. Watch some soccer and go for a quick walk to get my legs stretched out…I like to watch YouTube videos on the opposing player.

Hiatt: I’m a big fan of getting up and moving around. I like coffee, so sometimes a morning walk and go get coffee. In the afternoon I’ll have my pregame meal and I think to get to the locker room early. Just sit in my chair and listen to music before it gets hectic.

Q: What makes soccer in Washington so special?

Hiatt: The people who come out to the games and the supporters just create a really cool environment. I’ve been a fan going to Sounders and Reign games, and I’m so excited to be on the other side of it now. The atmosphere the fans create is pretty special.

There’s much, much more. For instance, Roldan’s pregame sandwich and his superstitions. What does Rowe find telling about the final 15 minutes of a match? When should you think about moving to a better team. Who played multiple sports through high school?

WA Legends is a 501(c)(3) registered public charity, and donations are welcome.

Learning from the Pros – Thanks to All

Our deepest thanks to our esteemed panelists, moderator  and our virtual audience for participating in ‘Learning from the Pros,’ an extremely informative and entertaining webinar event held on April 12.

Our panel of elite, professional soccer players – Seattle Sounder Cristian Roldan (former UW Husky), OL Reign Samantha Hiatt (Kirkland local), newly signed Sounder Kelyn Rowe (Federal Way), Portland Thorns star Morgan Weaver (University Place), and 10-year WPS and NWSL player Katherine Reynolds (Medina) – shared what it takes to reach the next level of competition, on and off the field.

For those among the audience, please consider donating $15 or an amount of your choice to Washington State Legends of Soccer. We plan to add the complete webinar to our YouTube channel selection in the very near future.

Stay in touch and if you have suggestions or potential submissions, please contact us.

Our Conversations Series 2

As promised, we uploaded three new features to our Conversations with a Legend series during the week of Feb. 22-26. Joining the lineup: one of our nation’s most accomplished FIFA referees, Sandy Hunt; captain in their formative first seasons, Keelin Winters Pattillo; and the Federal Way lad who starred for the Sounders, Lamar Neagle. All these Conversations, plus much, much more can be found on our YouTube channel.

Meanwhile, research is underway for adding at least 15 more ‘years’ of content to our Legends online museum. By year end 2022 we plan to bring the content fully up to date. We’ve come a long way since launching our site in December of 2018.