BOYDS, Md – National Women’s Soccer League founding member club Washington Spirit has named additional professional coaching staff members ahead of historic 5th season.
Nicci Wright – Goalkeeper Coach
KJ Spisak – Assistant Coach and Reserve Team Head Coach
Kevin Boyle – Director of Sports Science
Nicci Wright has worked as U15-U19 Girls Director and Director of Goalkeeping at Arlington Soccer Association since 2013. The Duncan, British Columbia native has coached the Canadian U14-U20 WNTs as a goalkeeper and Assistant coach, including at a U17 Women’s World Cup and a U20 Women’s World Cup. She worked alongside Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra previously as an assistant coach for the Washington Freedom from 2007 to 2010. Wright holds her USSF “C” License and NSCAA National Diploma.
“I would like to thank Jim Gabarra and the Washington Spirit organization for the opportunity to return to the women’s professional soccer stage,” said Wright. “It is amazing to see the growth of the women’s game since I was last here. The opportunity to work alongside Jim again made the decision very easy. We have a great working relationship that has spanned almost 14 years. I’m happy to be returning to the Maryland SoccerPlex, and I’m excited to get started with the team.”
As a player, Wright earned 37 caps with the Canadian Women’s National Team and was a member of the 1999 Women’s World Cup team. She played for the Washington Freedom (WPS Founders Cup Champions), Alvik IK (Swedish Damallsvenska/Northern Sweden Footballer of the Year), and the Vancouver Whitecaps (W-League Finalists). Wright was the first soccer player, male or female, to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the University of Victoria (Canada).
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Nicci Wright once again,” said Gabarra. “She will bring an enormous amount of experience and hard work to the Spirit. Our goalkeepers will benefit from her quality as a player, coach, and person.”
KJ Spisak coached the Washington Spirit Reserves to the USL W-League Championship in 2015 and the WPSL Colonial Conference while going undefeated in 2016. She will continue her roles as head coach for the Reserves and assistant coach to the pro team.
“KJ has done a fantastic job with our Reserves team as head coach in helping to develop potential future pros in a professional environment,” noted Gabarra. “In addition, having her expertise to add to our pro team staff is highly valued. We’re pleased she is returning to the Spirit organization.”
“I am happy to be returning to the Washington Spirit for the 2017 season,” said Spisak. “We’re going to have a talented group of up and coming players for the Washington Spirit Reserves who I look forward to working with to defend our Colonial Conference title. I’m also excited to work with the pro team again and help in any way I can to make this year another successful season in the NWSL.”
The Spirit will continue to work with Sport & Health and Kevin Boyle as the Spirit’s Director of Sports Science. Boyle has been with the Spirit since the inaugural 2013 season.
“Kevin Boyle has provided the Spirit with the absolute best Sport Science support over the past 4 years,” said Gabarra. “We look forward to another season of his work in this critical area that puts our players in position to achieve our team and individual goals.”
“The Spirit had a tremendous year in 2016, and we are looking forward to coming back even stronger this year,” said Boyle. “Every year we make improvements in equipment and training practices, and this year will be no exception. I’m excited to have the opportunity for another year working with the best women’s soccer players on the planet with the Washington Spirit.”
The Washington Spirit’s first preseason match will be on March 18 against Penn State University, followed by the first ever match in the Commonwealth of Virginia on March 25 against 22-time NCAA Champion University of North Carolina. Tickets for all preseason matches and 2017 season tickets can be obtained on our website at tickets.washingtonspirit.com or by calling 301-591-0927.