New Sounders Women coach Leighton O'Brien played for the USL Sounders.

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The Sounders Women soccer team has hired Leighton O’Brien as coach, the team announced Wednesday.

O’Brien, a former United Soccer Leagues Sounder and Federal Way native, was most recently a player and technical director for the Tacoma Tide FC, a Premier Development League team. Sounders Women and Tacoma Tide FC are members of the Tacoma Tide Sports Club organization.

“This is a good step in the coaching ladder and the Sounders Women are a great organization,” O’Brien said in a release. “This is effectively the top level of women players in the Northwest.”

O’Brien finished the 2009 season playing sparingly for the Montreal Impact of the USL before returning home in September.

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O’Brien was the A-League MVP in 2002 with Seattle and helped lead the Sounders to USL First Division championships in 2005 and 2007. He also played for Bodens BK in Sweden.

“We’re very pleased to have Leighton as our new head coach,” Mike Jennings, the Sounders Women owner, said in a release. “He brings a great playing pedigree but is also a fantastic coach who will help the club continue in a positive direction.”

O’Brien, who has coached youth teams in the area since 2002, played at Federal Way High School and collegiately at San Diego.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or

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