The naming of former Washington Premier FC Academy Director Jimmy McAlister in this leadership position reflects the club’s commitment to proven, top-level coaching; progressive player development; and a club infrastructure worthy of its position as the unified select soccer club for the SYSA. McAlister brings thirty years of demonstrated results both as a coach at all levels of youth soccer and as a professional player. He joins Seattle United immediately.
As a Seattle Sounder from the NASL era, Jimmy McAlister has a rich history in the Seattle soccer scene. "’Jimmy Mac’ is a Seattle soccer icon," says Seattle Sounders FC Assistant Coach Brian Schmetzer. "He's coached soccer at the highest levels of the youth game in Washington, and his enthusiasm and passion for the game will be good for young players in Seattle."
“I'm very happy to be coming home and extremely excited to be a part of Seattle United,” said McAlister. “We have the opportunity and responsibility to create something very special: a high level youth soccer club that nurtures all level of soccer players throughout the city. We have the obligation to enhance the soccer experience as well as life experiences for thousand of kids in the Seattle area. The significant foundation and infrastructure that have already been established by the club’s board and are operating today in Seattle will allow our leadership team to hit the ground running. I am looking forward to the challenge of building a nationally respected club.”
Bret MacPherson, President of Seattle United, added, “The Board of Directors is excited to announce its first hiring to lead Seattle United’s on-field activities. Jimmy McAlister possesses tremendous enthusiasm, genuine spirit, and fabulous soccer experience that he yearns to apply as Seattle United’s Director of Coaching. He is committed to creating a new, unified, and inclusive soccer culture that Seattle and Shoreline youth soccer deserve.”
Jimmy McAlister brings to Seattle United a bounty of experience and relationships to launch the new club. McAlister is an early product of the Seattle youth soccer system. He grew up in Seattle where he attended John F. Kennedy High School. When he graduated in 1975 after a stellar youth playing experience, McAlister was immediately signed by the Seattle Sounders of the North American Soccer League (NASL). McAlister enjoyed an extensive ten year professional playing career. He spent eight seasons in the NASL (four with the Sounders) and seven in the Major Indoor Soccer League (four with the Tacoma Stars). McAlister earned Rookie of the Year during his first season in the NASL and was named Washington state professional player of the year. During his career, he was a member of the US National Team over three years and earned six caps.
In 2000, McAlister became the head coach of the Decatur High School boys soccer team, propelling the team to back-to-back Washington State 4A Boys State Soccer Championships. Jimmy next led the Hibernian Saints, which he coached to a United States Adult Soccer Association National Championship title. In addition to these successes, Jimmy shared his knowledge and winning ways with Federal Way United, securing State Championships at the Boys Under-12, 13 and 14 age groups.
Most recently, McAlister has been in leadership with Washington Premier FC (WPFC) in Tacoma as its Academy Director for its U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) teams. The USSDA serves as home for the nation’s top youth players and is comprised of 72 elite youth soccer clubs nationwide (only two in Washington). McAlister is one of only a few youth coaches statewide entrusted to lead one of the USSDA teams. In his Academy Director capacity, McAlister’s WPFC USSDA team won its group last spring and he coached them to the USSF national finals this past summer, taking 5th place. The team is currently first in the Boys Under-18 USSDA’s Northwest Division of the Western Conference. McAlister also won last year’s Boys Under-13 State Championship with his other WPFC team.
Jimmy’s coaching abilities, teachings, and talents continue to be well sought after and have proven to be the basis for developing great players both on and off the field. McAlister was most recently honored for his ongoing commitment to the game through receipt of the Golden Scarf Award from the Seattle Sounders FC. He is a member of the Washington State Youth Soccer Hall of Fame.
McAlister awarded Sounders FC Golden Scarf
McAlister as a Seattle Sounders