|Full name||Carin Leslie Jennings-Gabarra|
|Date of birth||January 9, 1965|
|Place of birth||East Orange, New Jersey, U.S.|
|1980–1983||Palos Verdes High School|
|1983–1986||UC Santa Barbara Gauchos|
|Southern California Ajax|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Carin Leslie Jennings-Gabarra (born January 9, 1965), née Carin Jennings, is an American retired soccer forward. She earned 117 caps with the United States women's national soccer team from 1987 to 1996 and was awarded the Golden Ball Award as the best player at the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup. In 2000, she was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. She currently coaches women's soccer at the United States Naval Academy.
Early life and education
While born in East Orange, New Jersey, Jennings-Gabarra grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, California where she attended Palos Verdes High School from 1980 to 1983. During her four seasons playing high school soccer, she scored 226 goals and was a four-time High School All-American and a three-time California Most Valuable Player.
After high school, Jennings-Gabarra attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where she played on the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos women's soccer team from 1983 through 1986. In 1984, Jennings-Gabarra set the NCAA Division I women's soccer single-season records for goals (34), goals per game (1.55), points (80), and points per game (3.64).
She finished her college career holding numerous NCAA Division I women's soccer records including 102 goals scored, 1.29 goals per game, 60 assists, 0.76 assists per game, 264 points, and 3.34 points per game.
She was named as a second-team All-American in 1984 and 1985 and a third-team All-American in 1987. She graduated from UCSB in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Gabarra was named the school’s Athlete of the Decade and in 1991 the university inducted Gabarra into its Hall of Fame.
Jennings-Gabarra played with The Los Angeles Blues (now the Southern California Blues) and later with Southern California Ajax of Manhattan Beach, California. In 1992 and 1993, Ajax won the USASA National Amateur Cup. Jennings and defender Joy Biefeld-Fawcett both were members of the Manhattan Beach club women's soccer team Ajax in the late 1980s and early 1990s and routinely played at Columbia Park in Torrance, California. In 1991, Ajax won the U.S. women's amateur championship.
Jennings-Gabarra’s fame rests on her achievements with the United States women's national soccer team. During her ten-year career, spanning 1987 to 1996, she earned 117 caps and scored 53 goals.
1991 World Cup
During the early 1990s, Jennings-Gabarra was part of the national team's "Triple-Edged Sword". The term, coined by the Chinese media during the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup, included two other prolific scorers, April Heinrichs and Michelle Akers. Of those three players, Akers scored ten goals at the World Cup to claim the Golden Boot, while Jennings-Gabarra added six as the tournament's second leading scorer. Jennings helped the U.S. national team win the first women's World Cup. She was also selected as the Golden Ball Award winner as the tournament’s top player.
1995 World Cup
In 1995, Jennings-Gabarra and her team mates came up short in the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup, losing to Norway in the semifinals. Gabarra with her team finished third in Sweden 1995, with a 2–0 win over China in the third-place playoff match.
In 1996, the U.S. won the first women’s Olympic soccer tournament. Following the tournament, she retired from playing international soccer.
Matches and goals scored at World Cup and Olympic tournaments
Carin Jennings-Gabarra competed in Atlanta 1996 Olympics, China 1991 and Sweden 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup tournaments; played 16 matches and scored 6 goals at those 3 global tournaments. Jennings-Gabarra with her teams won a gold medal at Atlanta, finished first at China 1991 and third at Sweden 1995.
|Key (expand for notes on “world cup and olympic goals”)|
|Location||Geographic location of the venue where the competition occurred|
|Lineup||Start – played entire match|
on minute (off player) – substituted on at the minute indicated, and player was substituted off at the same time
|Min||The minute in the match the goal was scored. For list that include caps, blank indicates played in the match but did not score a goal.|
|Assist/pass||The ball was passed by the player, which assisted in scoring the goal. This column depends on the availability and source of this information.|
|penalty or pk||Goal scored on penalty-kick which was awarded due to foul by opponent. (Goals scored in penalty-shoot-out, at the end of a tied match after extra-time, are not included.)|
|Score||The match score after the goal was scored.|
|Result||The final score.|
|aet||The score at the end of extra-time; the match was tied at the end of 90' regulation|
|pso||Penalty-shoot-out score shown in parenthesis; the match was tied at the end of extra-time|
|Orange background color – Olympic women's football tournament|
|Blue background color – FIFA women's world cup final tournament|
Jennings-Gabarra is renowned for her remarkable ball control, imagination, dribbling skills and feints on the wing, as well as her ability to create chances out of nothing. Her distinctive gait earned her the sobriquets "Crazy Legs" and "Gumby".
Also an effective goalscorer, she struck a 23-minute hat-trick against Germany to put the United States 3–0 ahead in the 1991 FIFA Women's World Cup semi-final. The Los Angeles Times reported that "Carin Jennings, the ponytailed winger from Palos Verdes, tore the Germans to shreds". In 1999 Assistant coach Lauren Gregg hailed Jennings-Gabarra's performance against Germany as the single greatest ever by an American player.
Jennings-Gabarra epitomizes the speed, fitness and mental strength which coach Anson Dorrance demanded of his players. "Before every game, Anson would challenge us, asking us which of us was going to make the difference. I always wanted to be that player." Teammates saw Jennings-Gabarra as setting the standard for the group.
Gabarra began coaching following her graduation from UCSB in 1987. That year, Westmont College, located in Santa Barbara, California hired her as its women’s soccer coach. After one season, she moved to Harvard where she was an assistant coach. In 1993, the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland, hired Gabarra as its women’s soccer coach. At the time the women’s team competed at the club level. She developed it into a competitive Division I NCAA team.
In 2000, Gabarra was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2003, she was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.
In 1992, Gabarra married U.S. men’s national team player Jim Gabarra. They have two daughters and one son. Gabarra is a member of the U.S. Soccer Athlete Advisory Council, the U.S. Olympic Committee Athlete Advisory Council and the Maryland Physical Fitness Council.
World Cup Winner
Olympic Gold Medal
US National Amateur Cup
- 1992, 1993
California Prep MVP
- 1981, 1982, 1983
High School All American
- 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
NCAA Division I All American
- 1984, 1985, 1986
FIFA World Cup Golden Ball
US Soccer Athlete of the Year
- 1987, 1992
U.S. Olympic Player of the Year
- 1987, 1992
National Soccer Medal of Honor
Hall of Fame
- National Soccer Hall of Fame
- U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame
- American Youth Soccer Organization Hall of Fame
- "Supersport: Carin Gabarra". Ukiah Daily Journal. Ukiah, California. December 11, 1994. Retrieved February 12, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Division I Women's Soccer Records: Season Records" (PDF). fs.ncaa.org. 2015. p. 4. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
- "Division I Women's Soccer Records: Season Records" (PDF). fs.ncaa.org. 2015. pp. 6–8. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
- Murashko, Alex (January 31, 1993). "Women's Soccer Teams at Home in South Bay. Club sports: Although fan interest remains low, participation remains high". Los Angeles Times. p. 20. Retrieved November 10, 2008.
- Cox, Bob (June 11, 1993). "United they stand - Indoor soccer team features both Mr. and Mrs. Gabarra". News-Pilot. San Pedro, California. Retrieved April 21, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Bios". United States Soccer Federation. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- "Carin Jennings Gabarra". ussoccerhistory.org. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- Plank, Duane (December 27, 1991). "Taking Her Place Among the Best : Soccer: Former Palos Verdes High player Carin Jennings is named most valuable player at World Cup tournament in China". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
- Mahoney, Ridge (April 30, 1998). "Gabarra bids goodbye". Soccer America. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
- Jones, Grahame L (October 30, 2000). "A Top Woman Player Makes Hall of Fame". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
- Jones, Grahame L (July 1, 1999). "U.S. Left Germany Aching in '91". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 7, 2019.
- Match Reports
- "FIFA Women's World Cup China 1991: Match Report: Sweden – USA". FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup China 1991: Match Report: Brazil – USA". FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup China 1991: Match Report: Japan – USA". FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup China 1991: Match Report: USA – Taipei". FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup China 1991: Match Report: Germany – USA". FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup China 1991: Match Report: Norway – USA". FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup Sweden 1995: Match Report: USA – China PR". FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup Sweden 1995: Match Report: USA – Denmark". FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup Sweden 1995: Match Report: USA – Australia". FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup Sweden 1995:: Match Report: Japan – USA". FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup Sweden 1995: Match Report: USA – Norway". FIFA.
- "FIFA Women's World Cup Sweden 1995: Match Report: China PR – USA". FIFA.
- "Olympic Football Tournaments Atlanta 1996 – Women: Match Report: USA – Denmark". FIFA.
- "Olympic Football Tournaments Atlanta 1996 – Women: Match Report: USA – Sweden". FIFA.
- "Olympic Football Tournaments Atlanta 1996 – Women: Match Report: USA – China PR". FIFA.
- "Olympic Football Tournaments Atlanta 1996 – Women: Match Report: China PR – USA". FIFA.