The 2011 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) season was Gabarra’s first campaign with Sky Blue FC. Gabarra spent the previous 10 years with the Washington Freedom, and he was the only coach to lead his team to the playoffs in each of the first two WPS seasons. He began his tenure in Washington in 2001, leading the Freedom to back-to-back appearances in the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA) Championship Game in both the 2002 and 2003 campaigns. After winning the 2003 league title in what became the final year of WUSA, Gabarra continued the success in Washington into the USL W-League. He again reached the pinnacle of the sport when he led the Freedom to the 2007 W-League Championship, also being named a W-League Coach of the Year Finalist. After most recently advancing to the playoffs in consecutive WPS seasons, Gabarra stepped down from his position in Washington, making the highly successful coach available for the first time in over a decade.
As a player, Gabarra capped 14 times for the U.S. National Team from 1986-1989, including his playing in the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. The Key West native also enjoyed a prolific career in professional indoor soccer and served as captain of the U.S. National Futsal Team from 1986-1996. He originally began his professional playing career outdoors in 1982 when he debuted with the Detroit Express of the American Soccer League (ASL), winning a league championship in his first season of play. The Connecticut College Hall of Fame member then took his game indoors in 1984 with the Louisville Thunder, making successful stops with multiple clubs from then until 1993, also taking his first crack at coaching on the indoor platform. As part of an affiliation between Sky Blue FC and the New Jersey Wildcats of the USL W-League, Gabarra served as head coach of the Wildcats during the 2012 W-League season.