Seattle Sounders hire Craig Waibel as new sporting director

SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Sounders have hired Craig Waibel as the club’s new vice president of soccer operations and sporting director.

Waibel takes over for Chris Henderson, who became the head of soccer operations for Inter Miami in the offseason.

Waibel had previously spent the 2015 season as the technical director for RSL working under current Seattle general manager Garth Lagerwey. Waibel was promoted to general manager after Lagerwey moved to Seattle and held that role until 2019.

“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,” Lagerwey said.

Along with his experience as a player in MLS for 11 years with four different clubs, Waibel has extensive connections to Seattle and the state of Washington. Waibel went to high school in Spokane, played collegiately at Washington and started his pro career playing for the A-League version of the Sounders.

“I’m very excited to return to the Pacific Northwest and join one of the most successful organizations in MLS,” Waibel said. “I have very fond memories of Seattle from my time at the University of Washington and as a Sounder in my playing days, on top of respecting this club as an opponent in the Western Conference while with RSL.”

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