I honestly believe that Jim Gabbara is the reason the Spirit have been playing so badly as of late. I mean, he coached Sky Blue for three years and they were shit for all of those. This year, though, he went to the Spirit and I think he pulled a Jill Ellis.
When Jill took over for the 2015 WWC, she played it safe with the team’s style of play and the lineups. She found what worked and went for it. This year, though, we all saw the shit show she created with her experimentation and risk that almost always never worked out all that well. She showed her true colors this year when it came to coaching.
With Gabarra, I believe he inherited a squad of very talented Spirit players and went with playing all the internationals and when his normal Starting XI worked pretty well at the start of the season (they were undefeated their first 5 games) he kept using it. This second half of the season has been a much different story. He completely changed his backline with the exception of Krieger, Wys is starting in goal, Stengel for some reason continues to start even though her results are subpar at best and the girl has zero pace. He fucked fucked with the lineup and refuses to change it back to Labbe in goal; Kleiner, Zadorsky, Oyster, and Krieger at defense; his best three forwards right now (with Banini hurt) are Williams, Dunn, and Ordega and all three rarely are put on the field at the same time. Why else has the Spirit just barely managed to scrape these past several games (too many 2-1 games) even if they win?
tl;dr: Gabarra needs to stop fucking with the Starting XI and get his shit together. Put the original XI on the field because the ones out there now, will NOT win you the Championship.