Article by Djuradj Vujcic

Coach Dabo in 1986 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs (photo by Anne Lorraine Tiffen Taylor)

Today marks one year since the passing of Luis Dabo, head coach of our Serbian White Eagles in 1977.

Luis Kharan Dabo was born in 1939 in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau – at the time a colony of the Portuguese Empire.

Dabo played for eleven seasons in Portugal (including being part of the renowned Benfica program) before emigrating to North America where his coaching resume included an assistant coach gig with the Rochester Lancers (1976–77) before taking over several MISL clubs including the Buffalo Stallions (1979–80), Chicago Horizons (1980–81) and Kansas City Comets (1981–82). Dabo ultimately coached in 26 countries and spoke six languages fluently – Portuguese, French, Spanish, Italian, Crioulo and English – and later managed teams in the AISA and CISL before becoming a top academy coach in Arizona. He was proud to call Arizona home, becoming a United States citizen in 2009.

Coach Dabo created the Santos Football Club in 1986 for the purpose of developing and educating athletes for national and international youth soccer competition. His approach to coaching the game of soccer gave numerous players the opportunity to play at the collegiate and professional levels.

On January 29, 2022, Dabo, aged 82, passed away in Maricopa, Arizona. On March 22, 2022, Dabo was laid to rest in his native Bissau next to his parents.

Former Serbian White Eagles player and president Mike Bakic said upon Dabo’s passing: “Luis Dabo was more than a coach. He was a true friend to all of us players at Rochester Lancers in 1976, Serbian White Eagles in 1977, and Kansas City Comets in 1981. I will personally miss him forever. Rest in peace, my dear friend.”

May the memory of Luis Dabo and his love and passion for soccer in North America never fade.