Digest (Aug. 21): Washington Spirit fire Gabarra as coach, GM

The Washington Spirit , which has not won in three months and scored once in the past 11 matches, fired Jim Gabarra as its coach and general manager Tuesday. Since coming within a minute of winning the 2016 National Women's Soccer League title, the Spirit has a 7-30-8 record with a minus-31 goal differential. This year, Washington is 2-15-4 with an eight-game losing streak and 12-game winless run. The only victories have come against winless Sky Blue FC and an Orlando team missing superstars Alex Morgan and Marta. Assistant Tom Torres will serve as the interim coach for the final three games, starting Wednesday against the Utah Royals at Maryland SoccerPlex. The team said it will begin the search for a permanent replacement at the end of the season. Team president Chris Hummer will inherit the general manager's responsibilities. The move comes four days before the Spirit will play the Portland Thorns at D.C. United 's Audi Field, a test run for possible additional matches at the new venue starting next season. Gabarra was notified Monday and addressed the players before training Tuesday. He did not immediately return a message seeking comment. Gabarra's ties to women's professional soccer in the area run deep. With Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach leading the way, he coached the Washington Freedom to the Women's United Soccer Association title in 2003. After the WUSA folded, Gabarra oversaw the organization's amateur team. When Women's Professional Soccer launched in 2009 and '10, he was back in charge. Gabarra, 58, guided Sky Blue from 2013 to 2015 before taking the Spirit helm in 2016. That year, Washington finished second in the regular season, defeated Chicago in the semifinals and led Western New York in extra time before conceding a late goal and losing in a penalty-kick tiebreaker.

— Steven Goff, The Washington Post


Major League Soccer: D.C. United forward Wayne Rooney was voted Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters. Rooney helped United to a 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers on Wednesday, scoring two goals before capping the week off with a 2-0 win over the New England Revolution on Sunday. In eight matches, Rooney has three goals and three assists with the club posting a 5-2-1 mark.

Horse racing


Music festival plannedfor Maryland Million Day

The Stronach Group, owners of Laurel Park , announced the addition of the Clubhouse Festival to the Maryland Million race day Oct. 20. The Stronach Group and Club Glow, which are also partners for the Moonrise Music Festival, will bring Grammy-nominated Deadmau5 to the first Clubhouse Festival. Grammy-nominated Steve Aoki and a host of other performers will round out the festival lineup. The Clubhouse Festival will kick off with a tailgate party. Tickets are available at and go on sale Friday.

Et Cetera

Criste retiring after 27 seasons as Navy track coach

After spending the last 27 seasons as the coach of the Navy women's track and field program, Carla Criste has announced she will retire from coaching effective Aug. 31. Criste will remain with the Naval Academy as a fulltime professor and administrator in the physical education department. In her nearly three decades at the helm of the Navy women's track and field program, Navy earned six Patriot League team titles (three indoor/three outdoor) with 120 individual Patriot League champions and 20 championship relay teams. The Midshipmen won Patriot League Indoor Championships in 2001, 2009, and 2011 and Outdoor Championships in 2003, 2012 and 2018 with Criste at the helm. Additionally, Navy won the ECAC outdoor competition in 1989 and the indoor meet in 1989 and 1991.

Men's college lacrosse: Attackman Jon Mazza has been given his release to transfer from the Towson men's lacrosse program, coach Shawn Nadelen said Tuesday evening. Mazza, who was expected to spend his senior year with the Tigers, scored 16 goals and assisted on eight others for a career-high 24 points in just eight starts last season. But the 6-foot-4, 205-pound Davidsonville resident was suspended for the final seven games for an unspecified violation of team rules.

— Edward Lee

Major League Baseball : The Atlanta Braves designated former Orioles infielder Ryan Flaherty for assignment. The move cleared a spot on the 40-man roster for Bryse Wilson. Flaherty got off to a nice start in April, but struggled since and hasn't been playing much.


Men's college basketball: Johns Hopkins coach Josh Loeffler announced the addition of Trevor Johnson to the Blue Jay coaching staff. Johnson comes to Hopkins from Nebraska Wesleyan, where he spent the last four seasons.

From Sun staff and news services