Sounders bring back familiar face to fill vacant Sporting Director role

The Seattle Sounders announced the return of a former USL player and UW graduate Craig Waibel as the teams new Senior Vice President of Soccer Operations & Sporting Director Thursday afternoon.

Waibel has spent the last two decades in professional soccer, including a 12-year playing career with four MLS Cup titles, and a four-year stint as Real Salt Lake’s General Manager with three postseason appearances. A University of Washington graduate and former Sounders player, Waibel reunites with General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey, with whom he worked at RSL. In his new role, Waibel assists Lagerwey in all areas of soccer operations, including scouting, player identification, player management and the club’s overall development system. 

After an exhaustive interview process, we feel Craig Waibel is uniquely qualified to make us better,” said Lagerwey. “His years of experience as a GM gives him a track record of success picking players and overseeing a club, while his experience with player development will hopefully push our best young talents into further success with our First Team. Perhaps most importantly, his personal connection to our community here in Seattle, through UW and the Sounders, is what gives this hire the potential to be really special. With all of these qualities in mind, I could not be more excited to work with Craig going forward as our new Sporting Director.”

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