Former Seattle Sounder Comes Full Circle
Seattle, WA. April 7, 2010 – Leighton O’Brien is the new head coach of the Seattle Sounders Women. O’Brien played several years of his soccer career for the USL, Seattle Sounders men, and will once again wear the Sounders crest as the Head Coach for the Seattle Sounders Women.
During his playing days and more avidly since, O’Brien has applied his soccer knowledge as a coach on the touch line. When asked what his initial thoughts were when the Sounders Women approached him about coaching, O’Brien replied, “I was excited. This is a good step in the coaching ladder and the Sounders Women are a great organization. This is effectively the top level of women players in the Northwest.”
Seattle Sounders Women Owner, Mike Jennings said, “We’re very pleased to have Leighton as our new head coach. He brings a great playing pedigree but is also a fantastic coach who will help the club continue in a positive direction.”
O’Brien’s professional soccer career began when he was drafted by in the third round of the MLS Draft in 1999. After moving around a bit, he came back to Washington to join the Seattle Sounders of the United Soccer Leagues. In 2002, he tied for the league lead in assists with 11 and was named the USL A-League MVP. The Sounders extended their MVP’s contract for a three-year deal but ended up loaning him to the Bodens BK in the Swedish Second Division. While in Sweden, he played in 23 games, scoring six goals and adding nine assists.
O’Brien returned to the states after his years with Bodens BK and again played for the Seattle Sounders. While with the Sounders, O’Brien helped win 2 USL-1 Championships.
In 2009, O’Brien joined the Tacoma Tide Sports Club as a player & Technical Director for their Premier Development League team; Tacoma Tide FC. The Sounders Women are a member of the same organization as the Tacoma Tide. O’Brien slides his role over to the women’s side as the Head Coach.
As the new coach, O’Brien has stated that the “focus on the 2010 season and beyond is to establish a team that allows the top women’s players in the Northwest an opportunity to play in an enjoyable, challenging and highly competitive environment.”
O’Brien’s has coached youth teams in the Seattle area since 2002. He also currently holds the role of Director of Coaching for the youth club, Greater Renton FC.
O’Brien grew up in Federal Way Washington where he graduated from Federal Way High School in 1994. After high school, O’Brien went to college at the University of San Diego.
(photo courtesy of the Tacoma Tide Sports Club)