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If you are wondering what exactly the hold up is with regard to Sigi Schmid and his expected move to the Seattle Sounders, especially now that he has parted ways with the Columbus Crew, sources have revealed a tangled mess involving Columbus, Seattle, a tampering charge and a league that has to take care of the mess.
It has been reported in recent weeks that the Columbus Crew had filed tampering charges with MLS against Seattle for alledgedly courting Schmid to be the Sounders new head coach before his Crew contract had expired. What multiple sources around the league are telling SBI is that not only did the Crew file the tampering charge, but MLS did find evidence of what it considered unauthorized contact, which has opened the door to a mess the league is in the process of trying to clean up.
According to sources, MLS determined that Seattle technical director Chris Henderson had spoken to Schmid about the Seattle job while Schmid was still Columbus head coach. The result was a fine imposed on the Sounders and Henderson's formal removal from Seattle's coaching search committee (despite the fact that Henderson and Schmid have had close ties for two decades, with Schmid having coached Henderson in college and MLS). The issue might have ended there, but sources say Columbus has used that ruling to try and secure compensation from Seattle.
The Columbus Dispatch repoted earlier this week that Schmid had a non-compete clause in his recently expired contract with the Crew, a clause sources say the Crew contend was violated because Schmid was in contact with Seattle before his contract expired. Now Columbus is apparently seeking compensation from Seattle in order to keep the Crew from pursuing the issue further, leaving MLS to arbitrate the mess.
If this scenario is true (and there have been rumblings about an MLS tampering ruling against Seattle for more than a week), the whole situation has turned what should have been an amicable departure into a contentious one.
"Something has occurred that has sort of made my decision for me," Schmid told the Dispatch. "It's in the league's hands"
So what should we expect? It appears pretty clear that the Crew is intent on getting compensation from Seattle and looks to have the grounds to ask for some. Do I think this mess will keep Schmid from joining Seattle? Probably not. I would expect MLS to make a ruling pretty soon that both sides can live with, most likely in the form of allocation money or cash which Seattle will have to give the Crew.
What do you think of this potential situation? Should Seattle be punished harshly for tampering? Is Columbus being petty with a coach who led it to a championship? Do you think the Crew have a gripe? Do you think it's silly that a coach winding down the end of a contract can't communicate with a potential future employer?
Share your thoughts below.