Tampering charge holding up Schmid move to Seattle

Sigi Schmid 2 (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                             Photo by ISIphotos.com

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.

This entry was posted in Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- Seattle Sounders. Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Tampering charge holding up Schmid move to Seattle

  1. Robert says:

    Doesn’t this kind of thing happen all the time?

  2. Frank says:

    Rules are rules. Seattle violated those and should have to pay the price. However, I’m not sure why the Crew wouldn’t have given Sigi permission to talk to other teams. Either the Crew makes him a good offer or another team will get the coach’s services; to mess around with him seems petty. I wish we would have had clarity about this situation before the playoffs, especially considering the timing of the expansion draft.

  3. Crew Fan says:

    We’ll take Ljunberg please.

  4. Andre` says:

    I’m liking it, I have to say. The team hasn’t fielded yet professionally in MLS, yet they’re causing drama. Maybe a rivalry will spawn from this. One which Crew fans need. Now the teams might not be in close proximity of eachother, but with the way the RedBulls/Osorio/Fire coaching scenario panned out, the Bulls and Fire fans have been really at eachothers throats.

    I love it. I think this might be great for the league. haha

  5. CD says:

    I like to see the MLS enforce policies like this show everyone that they must behave within the frame work. He was under contract so he could have waited to talk to them…fair enough.

  6. Reid says:

    I think it is a good rule, why should a coach be allowed to talk to another team especially when his team is in the playoffs. That is the time of season when there shouldn’t be any outside influence.

    It should be in every coaches contract that after the season only then are they allowed talk to other teams. There is no easier way to lose a locker room then when a coach quits on you.

    Sigi is the MLS version of Larry Brown, except i actually like Sigi.

  7. Eric Griesheimer says:

    Columbus needs all the money it can get. Sounds fair to me.

  8. Indie FC says:

    I definitely understand the reason for such a rule, but I’ve never agreed with its constitutionality, since it interferes with ALL American’s right to seek employment whenever and wherever it might suit the individual. I suspect that if someone took this one too the Supreme Court, it would be ruled invalid.

    Everyone pretty much knew Sigi was leaving Columbus. Long before there were Seattle rumors, it had already been strongly rumored that Sigi wasn’t coming back and was going to seek something on the West Coast.

    Okay, I said my piece. Now pay the fine and let’s hope it is just a fine, because if they take a player it will be the start of a long and VERY ugly rivalry. Columbus needs to stop profiteering and take the high ground here–they were NEVER going to have Sigi back.

  9. A different Crew Fan says:

    We want Brad Evans back and enough money to keep Chad.

    Oh, and good luck Sigi — except when you play the Crew.

  10. John says:

    Typical Columbus. They always pay hardball on trades. Remember what they were demanding for Szetela? Instead, look what they ended up with. Or how about Dante Washington? DC wanted to trade for him (he’s from the DC area who played MISL ball in Baltimore) and Columbus demanded that Washington (who was a sub at the time) would only be traded for the #1 pick in the entire draft. DC said no and than Columbus ended up waiving Washington in a salary cap purge (after DC had already filled their cap commitments) so the player got hosed. They’re so busy trying to exact the maximum they can get for a player, demanding their full rights that I think they lose the big picture. What SHOULD be a great place to play (one of the few games in town–they’re not competing with NBA or NFL or MLB), a SSS, is instead a place that has wears out it’s welcome with players.

    Yeah, a rule’s a rule. But who wants to have a coach who doesn’t want to coach for you? Columbus could have showed Sigi the love a year ago. I know, the argument is: he hadn’t won a championship. But Seattle was supposed to be tampering with him before he’d won a championship either. The Crew are so busy focusing on the letter of the law that they’re losing the big picture here. The wouldn’t extend Marshall because of the concussion risk so they now lose probably their 2nd best player from this year–for nothing. They could have extended Sigi a year ago but wanted to wait and see how the year turned out.

    They’ll probably get a draft pick or even an allocation, some Crewzers will crow about “showing Seattle” or “justice.” And of course, a head coaching gig in MLS is a head coaching gig. But what should be a coveted job would instead be one that the best assistants in MLS (Mariner and Spencer) wouldn’t even bother to return calls on.

  11. BoRiUaNo616 says:

    i think they should dis-qualify the crew name red bulls champions since sigi cheated and ban frankie hejduk for bein to old,… alsoooo change coloumbus crew name to colombus wack

  12. Ossington Mental Youth says:

    Frank – Mainz are a big club with the potential to play in one of europes top leagues. He will be making way more money and playing better players/teams. This isnt like hes headed to Norway.

  13. Squard says:

    The Seattle front office just learned what every other MLS team has known for years: “Don’t trade with the Crew”. They expect to get Rooney at Ezra Hendrickson prices. And they’ll make sure Ezra is injured just to screw over the other team a little more. Their crappy field and bleachers (NOT a stadium) is just one example of that.

  14. Ulrich says:

    If Sigi was contractually tied to Columbus for next year, then yes, this would be tampering. But his contract was OVER after this year – never once did he not meet his current duties for the Crew (he won MLS Cup for them). So long as his interviewing didn’t hinder his ability to coach the current squad, and it was a known fact that he did not want to sign a new contract with the Crew, then he has every right to line up future employment. Players do it ALL the time – finish out one contract and have another ready to begin right afterwards.

  15. soccerroo says:

    Sounds like Henderson made a big mistake. I do not think Seattle will have to big a problem because Sigi did want to move back to the west coast.

  16. Cam says:

    Wow John, did you really say Dante Washington? Lol. That’s a name I have not heard in years. I wonder what he’s up too. In his prime, I would rank him (along with McBride and Roy Lassiter) as one of the top three American pure strikers in MLS history.

  17. rednow.red4ever says:

    Since his contract was ending, this appears to be more of a technical matter, so I think cash would be in order…JCO was still under contract with the Fire and they got little more than scraps for him (i don’t hold draft picks nearly as high in mls than in other leagues)

  18. AndyinSeattle says:

    Hey folks, the issue isn’t “did Seattle tamper with the Crew’s chances at re-signing Sigi?” as much as it’s “did Seattle’s unauthorized contact with Sigi give them an advantage when it comes to signing players?”.

    How much information on players that Sigi collected while working for the Crew has made it to the Sounders? THAT would be tampering.

  19. Kyle says:

    They have rules like this in contracts in a lot of professions. If companies allowed employees to seek employment with competitors, employees would be asking for large bonuses because they can offer company espinoage. A competitor company offers you a job (and a 10k bonus for information), you grab all the data on the company you are in, and bring it to your knew company. Yes, people still do this by quitting and then talking to competitors, but generally people have families and are not prepared to take the risk. If you already have a job (and a known salary)lined up with a rival, there are no worries.

    Its not like Sigi is taking a job at Pizza Hut, he knows everything about Columbus, such as their scouted players. Is is like Rodriguez who went from WV to U of M. He was accused of copying all the scouting files, becuase he knew he was definitely going to michigan and could use them there.

  20. Richard, UK says:

    Anyone else remember Crew using the discovery rule loophole to screw over Matt Jansen’s move to New York? They certainly like to play hardball.

  21. I’m with Andre. This is good stuff. MLS needs more off-field and off-season drama. I hope it gets uglier.

    I heard Drew Carey made a joke about Hejduk’s mama.

  22. Nico_7 says:

    Hmm, perhaps Sigi will end up taking this to court eventually, possibly creating a Bosman-type rule for MLS (hence allowing coaches to negotiate with other teams in the last 6 months of their contract)…

  23. AndyinSeattle says:

    John: “Columbus could have showed Sigi the love a year ago. I know, the argument is: he hadn’t won a championship.”

    The argument isn’t “he hadn’t won a championship”, it’s “he hadn’t had a winning season.”

  24. I’m with Andre. This is good stuff. MLS needs more off-field and off-season drama. I hope it gets uglier.

    I heard Drew Carey made a joke about Hejduk’s mama.

  25. Tony in Quakeland says:

    A little more cut throat nastiness between teams may ultimately spark more competitiveness throughout every level of the league. I’m tired of MLS teams holding hands and singing “Cumbia”

  26. eric says:

    The issue is not that they had talks after the contract. WHILE he was still under contract, he had communications which the Crew specifically denied Seattle from having. The Crew will get something, just what is my question. The crew don’t get anything handed from the league, why not fight for other teams to follow the rules.

  27. Chrös says:

    Do you think it’s silly that a coach winding down the end of a contract can’t communicate with a potential future employer?

    With you describing Henderson and Schmid’s relationship, I do think it is a little silly.

  28. Brant says:

    Cam – Dante Washington is calling Crew games on local TV as the color commentation.

    Look – if Seattle broke the rule, then there should be some punishment. Not necessarily compensation for Columbus, but definitely damage to Seattle.

    The issue is *not* “no harm, no foul” because there if there *was* a foul and it’s not punished, teams will continue to try to see what they can get away with.

    If Sigi wanted to leave, that’s entirely within his rights. But he knew the rules about talking to Seattle before the contract was up, and Seattle knew the rules about talking to him. He could’ve politely declined to discuss an extension and just left for Seattlle when the contract was up, without jumping the gun, or jerking Columbus around.

    Same thing goes for the Crew front office. They should’ve laid all the cards on the table: here’s the contract; you win the MLS title and we’lll bump you up by (x) amount more; tell us ‘no’ and we’ll assume you want your mail forwarded to Seattle.

    The rule was there, but it didn’t need to be broken to put together the types of deals we’re talking about.

  29. Tolik says:

    Litigation as American way replaces the common sense. Yes, we are country of Law. But we are killing ourselves with all that zero tolerances, I can’t make a judgment, follow to the letter, forget about common sense.

    Did Sigi Schmid neglected his duties and was just coasting until his contract expires? NO – and he has result to prove it.

    Sorry for the rant, i just annoyed that to have my lawyer being smarter than your lawyer is more important than for two gentleman to shake their hands and keep their word.

  30. Brant says:

    Crap – sorry about the double-post everyone, especially one that long. ugh.

  31. Mike says:

    Man, being a Crew fan this is just garbage. Sigi didnt want to return as coach and the season was over but his contract was not (until Sunday the week after). This is typical Mark trying to get something after he screwed up with Sigi. We all knew no matter how far the Crew went this season Sigi was leaving and Columbus should be happy that he got them the championship instead of making this huge ordeal over some allocation money. They should respect the coaches decision and left on a good note. Now I have reason to really hate Mark and yell at him when he comes to Seattle.

  32. Jordan says:

    Cam-

    Dante Washington is announcing Crew games locally on TV here in Columbus and is a fixture at the Stadium in the Nordecke when he isnt broadcasting. He has been to the supporters bar a few times and walked to the stadium with the fans too.

  33. TheUltra says:

    Sigi doesn’t want to take this to court for all of you hoping it gets uglier, he said so in a dispatch article. Also SSFC broke the rules and they’ll have to pay this is the way things work. You can say it’s hardball but like it or love it this is business not charity.

    As for the Dante Washington bit, i’d hardly say he got hosed. The Crew currently pay him as one of their broadcasters and he sits in the Nordecke every home game that he isn’t broadcasting.

    Good luck Sigi (except against the Crew) SSFC time to pay up.

  34. Mike says:

    Man, being a Crew fan this is just garbage. Sigi didnt want to return as coach and the season was over but his contract was not (until Sunday the week after). This is typical Mark trying to get something after he screwed up with Sigi. We all knew no matter how far the Crew went this season Sigi was leaving and Columbus should be happy that he got them the championship instead of making this huge ordeal over some allocation money. They should respect the coaches decision and left on a good note. Now I have reason to really hate Mark and yell at him when he comes to Seattle.

  35. sammysounder says:

    The point is the crew don’t deserve a thing! Maybe Henderson made a mistake, but tampering rules are intended to give teams a chance to resign players and coaches fairly. The Crew had already lost Schmid. Maybe Henderson shouldn’t of contacted him, but did he actually do any damage to Crew? No.

    Whining is NOT becoming of a Champion. They just see an opportunity to get a couple bucks and are taking it as they don’t see a downside to filing the charges.

    Plus, the MLS does not want this thing to engulf the latest franchise and is likely to slap SSFC with a fine as it’s the quickest way to make this situation go away.

    I’m just disappointed in Crew. This is a piddling attempt to gouge some money out of the newcomers. It makes Crew look whiny, petty and vindictive.

    I would be ashamed if my club filed tampering charges over such inconsequential contact.

    Stupid Crew.

  36. AndyinSeattle says:

    Welcome to MLS, sammysounder. Please read posts above you before posting yourself. Thanks.

  37. Tolik says:

    Litigation as American way replaces the common sense. Yes, we are country of Law. But we are killing ourselves with all that zero tolerances, I can’t make a judgment, follow to the letter, forget about common sense.

    Did Sigi Schmid neglected his duties and was just coasting until his contract expires? NO – and he has result to prove it.

    Sorry for the rant, i just annoyed that to have my lawyer being smarter than your lawyer is more important than for two gentleman to shake their hands and keep their word.

  38. eric says:

    He was still under contract and the crew are attempting to resign him. He is talking to his buddy in Seattle about who knows what. That is not good for the crew’s side of the negotiations, period. If this happens to Seattle in 3 years, they will bitch as well. Do we want to go through this 4-5 in the next few years? NO, thus a precedent is set.

  39. KingSnake says:

    Wait a second … MLS has … *rules*? Actual , enforceable, personnel *rules*???

  40. Fred says:

    I think there is precedent for this in other situations- Osorio for one. I would think Evans or a 1st round draft choice might be ample compensation.

  41. SwedSoccer says:

    The interesting thing is that Seattle has kept silent on the issue. This may indicate that they are at fault, but also that they are not too concerned with the consequences. With deep pockets and the ambition to get this team into the playoffs in year one, Seattle will take the slap on the wrist and move forward with one of the top coaches in the league. Look for an announcement of his hiring early next week, as well as the announcement of a signing or two (Monteiro?).

  42. John says:

    Ulrich’s post is spot-on. The concept with tampering is you don’t want another team to affect a player’s (or coach’s) performance. For instance, a GM implies that a guy on another team would be a DP on his own squad and suddenly that player is coming up “injured” and demanding a trade. That’s why we don’t have tampering rules. But as Ulrich pointed out, can anyone make the argument that Sigi the Hutt dogged it this season, that he tanked it, that he didn’t give his best? How did Seattle gain an advantage in the expansion draft or with DP signings? I think they got almost none–there are a couple of guys signed that don’t seem to me like Sigi would want them.

    Nah, there’s a rule–so if Seattle really pushed the boundaries, fine them. But it’s really pretty stupid to say that a coach who’s on his last year can’t have conversations with other perspective employers. Wasn’t JCO approached by teams in Colombia this year? Didn’t the USSF approach Bob Bradley while he was still under contract to Chivas-USA?

  43. Brant says:

    Seattle probably figures there’s nothing they can say to make the situation *better* so why bother?

  44. sammysounder says:

    Thanks for the welcome, Andy. I did read the posts. always do :O)

    A first round pic would be ridiculous! I’m still waiting for someone to explain how the Crew was damaged.

    As a ref, you’re encouraged to ignore “trifling fouls”, which are acts against the law of the game that do not affect the match.

    I think the same thing should apply here.

  45. Brian says:

    The Crew looking for justice isn’t about Sigi at all. It’s about Seattle. They broke the rules, and as a consequence of it may in fact have competitively hurt Columbus.

    Exhibit A: the expansion draft selections. The Crew mitigated some of the possible damage there by cutting Sigi out of the personnel decisions when it came to constructing the protected list. But still, you can’t look at the players drafted and not see “this team will be coached by Sigi” all over it. If Seattle hadn’t have come to an informal understanding, maybe it’s not Brad Evans looking for an apartment in Tacoma.

    Exhibit B: Possible “theft” of scouting information. Note again that Columbus moved quickly to mitigate possible damage by filing a number of discovery claims on players they had put time and money into scouting.

    Maybe Sigi had already made his mind up about not coaching in Columbus next year. That’s fine. But without the improper and disallowed contact from Seattle, he wouldn’t have known where he was going next. If both parties had an informal understanding, then they had an opportunity to competitively harm Columbus.

    Oh, as for the guy claiming that Columbus is unpopular with players… that doesn’t appear to be the case, as there are a large number of former players who choose to stay local, and in many cases are still affiliated with the club. Including the allegedly wronged Dante Washington.

    Columbus are looking out for their own best interests, as they should. People upset about this should perhaps re-examine their assumption that Columbus should just “lay down and take it” from other clubs in MLS.

  46. sammysounder says:

    Thanks for the welcome, Andy. I did read the posts. always do :O)

    A first round pic would be ridiculous! I’m still waiting for someone to explain how the Crew was damaged.

    As a ref, you’re encouraged to ignore “trifling fouls”, which are acts against the law of the game that do not affect the match.

    I think the same thing should apply here.

  47. Gk107 says:

    Just like Seattle, always cheating..

  48. Sterlinho says:

    To AndyinSeattle:

    Why are you such a hater? Do you live in Seattle and hate the Sounders organization? I used to live in New York but I’m giving up my Metros allegiance to support the Sounders. You seem like an angry dude and you’re always ripping people on here. It’s Christmas time, show some love and support your new team.

  49. ecs says:

    insane, you lost him, he didn’t want to stay, what would money give you? we haven’t started playing yet and your season was over when the conversations began. Go choke on your yellow jerseys, prepare to be booed back to Ohio when you come up to The Noroeste Pacifica.

    p.s. some drama and a little off season intrigue makes the MLS more professional.

  50. 505anthony says:

    I’m actually surpised by this. I thought the Sounders courting of Fats Schmid was so obvious by now and has been going on so long that it would have had to be legal. If it’s otherwise than, sure, Crew have a point. But were they whining about so much else up until now that they had forgotten to whine about this? I mean, really.

  51. sammysounder says:

    Crew doesn’t deserve a thing!

    Exhibit A: Sounders drafting players Sigi’s interested in doesn’t mean that Sigi chose them. If you and I can figure out which players he likes than how hard is it for Hanauer and Henderson? They might even like similar players! Drafting players that Sigi likes is proof of nothing.

    Exhibit B: Crew moving to file discovery claims does not prove that Sigi passed information to Sounders.

    Henderson and Schmid have been friends for awhile. Henderson should have avoided Schmid for awhile, but we paid the fine.

    Crew requesting compensation is just whiny, petty and vindictive.

    Stupid Crew.

  52. sammysounder says:

    Oops. Forgot to apologize for the earlier double-post. Sorry, y’all.

  53. Northzax says:

    second Round pick in 2010 or a minor allocation. Regardless of actual competitive damage, you have to punish based on potential competitive advantage. As an example, take betting on games. 95% of players would, I am sure, bet safely on games, on themselves to win, etc. Gambling wouldn’t affect performance except perhaps to increase it. The problem is that you have to deal first and foremost with that one player who did allow gambling to negatively affect competition (see: Serie A every other year it seems) you also can’t really tell which is which, did he have a bad day, or did he tank? Did he miss that pk on purpose? People miss pks, who would have thought that Jaime Moreno would miss at home against a rival? Who can tell? You can’t, so you have to assume the worst (if you have evidence of gambling, of course. This is all totally hypothetical) same with tampering.

  54. JesseMT says:

    Well, the Sounders do deserve some punishment, and they’ve already paid a fine. I don’t see why C-bus deserves compensation.

    If there is compensation, hopefully it is cash and not allocation money. It wouldn’t be fair to give a competitive advantage to the Crew; if this was precedent, I think coaches in the future would try to make themselves get tampered with just so they get a little cap room.

  55. AndyinSeattle says:

    Sterlinho, I don’t hate the Sounders. I actually don’t personally know anyone that followed the USL Sounders as much as I did. I end up posting a lot on here when it comes to this issue because the two teams I follow closely have had some drama recently.

    Fair play is fair play. I think there is an issue for the Crew to take here. I also think Seattle deserves to have Sigi coach for them and signed very soon.

    Why would someone change allegiances just because they move? I’ve watched Crew soccer since age 13 and I’m going to jump ship because I changed my address?

    Have fun supporting your new team.

  56. AndyinSeattle says:

    Sterlinho, I don’t hate the Sounders. I actually don’t personally know anyone that followed the USL Sounders as much as I did. I end up posting a lot on here when it comes to this issue because the two teams I follow closely have had some drama recently.

    Fair play is fair play. I think there is an issue for the Crew to take here. I also think Seattle deserves to have Sigi coach for them and signed very soon.

    Why would someone change allegiances just because they move? I’ve watched Crew soccer since age 13 and I’m going to jump ship because I changed my address?

    Have fun supporting your new team.

  57. HIncha Tim says:

    I blame the league partially for this. The very important expansion draft for Seattle was less than a week after the final and still within the confines of the “last season” so Sigi was still in the last dieing moments of his contract with Columbus. Seattle obviously would have liked the incoming coach to choose which players he would like so they needed to sign him to a contract quickly. The league should have put more space betweeen the end of the season (and when contracts expire) and the expansion draft.

  58. HIncha Tim says:

    I think the MLS is partly at fault here. They scheduled the very important expansion draft less than a week after the final. This made the draft effectively part of the “last” season and not the coming season, so Sigi was not free. Seattle obviously wanted something with Sigi worked out quickly so he could be the decider on the expansion picks for the team he would be leading.

  59. Jonny R says:

    Look, folks, tampering rules are present in every professional sport in this country and the penalties are often cash fines or the loss/exchange of draft picks. In many cases, it’s considered tampering even to mention publicly that you’d like to sign/trade for a player currently under contract to another team.

    Some good examples of controversies in recent years (not all of which were eventually considered tampering): 49ers/Lance Briggs; Red Sox/JD Drew; the mess with the Vikings and Brett Favre this summer; just about every time Hank Steinbrenner opens his mouth.

    In one of the more humorous incidents lately, after the Cavaliers played a road game at Madison Square Garden during which the main attraction was the possibility of the Knicks signing LeBron James two years from now, Ben Wallace joked that the whole city of New York was tampering.

    While this whole business would probably seem odd those who follow primarily European soccer, MLS’ tampering rules are really par for the course.

    It doesn’t matter that Columbus had no realistic shot of resigning Sigi; Seattle evidently screwed up and will most likely pay a fair (and justly earned) penalty. In all likelihood, they won’t care too much.

  60. Jason says:

    To Indie FC, who wrote:

    I definitely understand the reason for such a rule, but I’ve never agreed with its constitutionality, since it interferes with ALL American’s right to seek employment whenever and wherever it might suit the individual. I suspect that if someone took this one too the Supreme Court, it would be ruled invalid.

    Everyone pretty much knew Sigi was leaving Columbus. Long before there were Seattle rumors, it had already been strongly rumored that Sigi wasn’t coming back and was going to seek something on the West Coast.

    Okay, I said my piece. Now pay the fine and let’s hope it is just a fine, because if they take a player it will be the start of a long and VERY ugly rivalry. Columbus needs to stop profiteering and take the high ground here–they were NEVER going to have Sigi back.”

    I suspect you have no legal training whatsoever.

    Non-compete clauses are perfectly legal and have been court tested MANY times.

    1) There is no right to work in the US Constitution. Why don’t you read it some time and try to find it? If there was, you’d have a Federal Constitutional issue every time someone got fired.

    2) As long as the non-compete clause is reasonable in duration and scope, it is enforceable. As Sigi’s non-compete clause lasted (apparently) only for the length of his contract, there should be no problem.

    All it did was say that, in effect, for the duration of the contract, he can’t work for anyone but the Crew. So, for instance, if he walks (you can’t make someone work when they don’t want to, that is prohibited by the 13th Amendment: no more slavery) he can’t coach for another team for the contract’s duration.
    Now, if it lasted 10 years after the contract was up, there would be a problem.

    There is no issue with his right to work, because the only reason he would be out of work, was because he quit. I’m assuming that the clause would be terminated if he was fired by the Crew.

    3) You don’t seem to know much about the right to contract. You can freely negotiate away almost any right. What do you think mandatory arbitration is all about?

    End of rant.

  61. daisy says:

    Just another example of a former PLAYER stepping into a business organization (with no business background to back it up) and not understanding and abiding by the business rules of the organization and league they work with. That is what I take issue with. Seattle’s management group should have known better or advised Henderson better in order to make sure he is up to date on business protocol within a professional organization. This should be a good learning lesson to Henderson and also the rest of Seattle’s management group. The Technical Director should have bene advising the GM and it should have been the GM that was handling the actual discussions.

  62. Luis says:

    Well, this gives me a reason to hate a team well before I get to attend a Sounders home game. And I don’t even care if my disdain of Columbus is reasonable.

    As they say in NASCAR, if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’

  63. SwedSoccer says:

    Just posted that Crew and Sounders reached a deal regarding Schmid. Allocation money and cash. See:

    link to seattlepi.nwsource.com

  64. SwedSoccer says:

    Just posted that Crew and Sounders reached a deal regarding Schmid. Allocation money and cash.

  65. SwedSoccer says:

    Just posted that Crew and Sounders reached a deal regarding Schmid. Allocation money and cash.

  66. SwedSoccer says:

    Just posted that Crew and Sounders reached a deal regarding Schmid. Allocation money and cash.