Schmid to stay on as Sounders head coach

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Photo by Joshua Weisberg/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

It turns out Sigi Schmid will return as head coach of the Seattle Sounders in 2014.

Speculation over Schmid’s future in Seattle came to a close on Thursday as Sounders majority owner Joe Roth issued a statement backing Schmid as the head coach of the club. Many in recent weeks believed Schmid was going to be sent packing by the Sounders due to their ongoing struggles at the end of the regular season and failure to reach the MLS Cup, but that was not the decision Seattle’s brass made.

“Adrian Hanauer and I met to review all team aspects of the organization. After a thorough evaluation, there is no question that Sigi Schmid is the right man to lead our club,” said Roth in the statement. “While we are not happy with the way we finished, Sigi’s resume and accomplishments speak for themselves. We have been to the playoffs five-straight years, one of just three teams to have done that.  Once you make the tournament you give yourself a chance to win the MLS Cup.

“Sigi has won two MLS Cups and it won’t be long before he does it here in Seattle.  We continue to strive for excellence and we will do everything we can and give him all the resources possible to make that a reality.”

Schmid, who has won MLS Cups with the LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew, has been at the helm of Seattle since its inaugural season in 2009. He won three consecutive U.S. Open Cups from 2009 to 2011 with the Sounders, but has yet to reach the MLS Cup final despite boasting one of the more talented sides in the league.

This season, Schmid helped his Sounders overcome a slow start to become one of the hottest teams in the league. Late in the year, however, Seattle’s season unraveled and the club struggled its way into the playoffs before being ousted by the rival Portland Timbers in the Western Conference semifinals.

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What do you think of Seattle bringing back Schmid? Smart decision? Think it came down to what he has accomplished with the club or the fact that there might not be many quality head coaches up for grabs this offseason?

Share your thoughts below.

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43 Responses to Schmid to stay on as Sounders head coach

  1. biff says:

    Speaking of Dempsey-Cakes, I would love to see this happen and love it even more if he stayed the rest of the season there. I don’t see him going to Fulham though, at least as long as Jol is there.

    link to dailymail.co.uk

    • Boyd says:

      Here’s hoping they don’t get MLS Direct in England otherwise there is no way in hell anybody will take him……who am I kidding?. We don’t even get MLS games here in the states much less in England

    • David says:

      It sure sounded like he and Jol weren’t getting along at the end. Fulham is probably not going to be where he goes. It sounds like England is the only place in the discussion. I wonder if he has considered any options in another European league.

  2. RAMONE says:

    I can’t stand the Sounders … so I love this decision.

  3. Steevens says:

    To me this is less about SSFC believing in Sigi, and more about SSFC not believing in the available replacement options.

    • Rich D says:

      Bob Bradely could take that team over the top imo, he woud give them the disciline and strucure it seems they need.

      • Steevens says:

        I have been thinking the very same thing. But I don’t fully know if he’s available. I know Egypt can’t afford buy him out, but when will he actually be a free agent?

        • Jacknut says:

          After the return match vs. Ghana. BB wants to manage in Europe.

          • Steevens says:

            What BB wants, and the offers that BB gets may or may not be the same.

            I was under the impression that BB’s contract is up whenever Egypt’s participation in the 2014 WC(Q) is over. But it is unclear to me as of yet if that is the case, or if has contract actually runs through the end of the 2014 WC

            • mike says:

              Comon. Dude is out after this match in Cairo. Gotta be. I would love to see him coach in Europe, or to be the American Hiddink. Or something like that. If not, give him NYCFC.

  4. Andre Mariner says:

    Haha, what? No, seriously. How in the world?

  5. Fahq says:

    Terrible. He started the same lineup twice the entire year. I know – injuries, callups, but he failed to bring this team together and find a way to make it work. Players lost faith in him and respect for him, too.

    Not looking forward to next year.

  6. NaranjaFanatic says:

    It seems to me that Seattle’s problem is more Roth & Hanauer than Sigi. It just seems like the guys who give everything to the organization are routinely not valued by the club because of the stars in the eyes of the ownership. It seems as though the Sounders organization feels like if they can advertise another guy who used to play in a top European league then they will automatically win MLS Cup, as if they have underestimated what it takes to win in this league from the very beginning. Sigi has never been the “special one” that Sounders fans hyped him to be in the beginning (remember this is the guy who was fired by LA while the Galaxy were sitting in first place). However, he’s not your problem.

  7. Gary says:

    I’m not sure I’d want to take athletic instruction from someone that can’t see their own feet.

  8. El Paso tx says:

    Wow I feel bad for sounders. Next year is going to be a crazy roller coaster season for every MLS team with World Cup being next year.
    If skc don’t win MLS cup, they will come hungrier than ever and even better.
    Red bull is coming next year as the favorite in a way, due to Henry getting older and win before nycfc joins. Red bull are hungry and they want every trophy possible, plus they r looking for a 3 DP.
    Galaxy will always be there.
    Timbers, they will only be better next year.
    Whitecaps will only be better next year.
    Toronto, a mysterious team next season, just like Montreal.
    At the end of the day, sounders could have gotten ex rapids coach, who WON MLS cup with sucky rapids. Sounders need a new coach and there is plenty of fish in the sea. By the way, can sounders get a 3dp next season.
    But next year will be a fun MLS cup, sounders fans need to make their voice heard, maybe some Tito, saying we want bielsa or Bradley

    • Steevens says:

      I hate to get drawn in by this nonsense, but you do know that the Sounders had 3 DPs: Martins, Joseph/Dempsey, and Rosales.

      I say Joseph/Dempsey to indicate that Joseph took up a DP slot until he renegotiated his deal, and Dempsey then took over that DP slot.

  9. El Paso tx says:

    By the way,Alonso has no skills, he should be a track runner.
    If Johnson is leaving, why not Alonso and the goal keeper and moffat and SIGI.
    Only if Seattle had their own stadium JK but I do wish that. What if sounders hold a friendly at huskies new stadium or play at safeco field to give the team a new fresh of air.

  10. MikeG says:

    Mediocrity in Seattle.

  11. alocksley says:

    This team hasn’t been the same since Fredy Montero left.

  12. The Other Jeff says:

    When Sounders first came into the league, Hanauer made clear that the club would emphasize attractive, attacking soccer, because that’s what fans want to see. We won’t just win, we will win with style.

    It was clear that he meant it. USL Sounders under Hanauer and Schmetzer had played some of the most entertaining, creative, tight-quarters attacking soccer in the final third that I have seen in the US.

    Then, they went out and hired a coach who has an unmatched (for MLS) resume, but has never coached a team that played that brand of soccer. What has happened since is predictable. FO goes out and gets possession players like Montero, Ljundberg, Tiffert, Martinez, Fernandez, Rosales, who are thrown into an attack that runs out of ideas about 30 yards from goal, and ultimately are shuffled off to somewhere else. (That’s a mighty impressive attacking 6 composed entirely of Sounders cast-offs, isn’t it?)

    When Sigi was hired, some of us hoped that he would lean on Schmetzer to bring into the team the brand of play in the final third we saw from USL Sounders, and for a while in the inaugural year there were glimmers, then it all fell back into the same style that has characterized all Sigi’s teams. Can’t move the ball through the middle? Don’t fix it, just put the ball over the top and make sure not to give up goals the other way. As a result, for all five years Sounders have been mediocre in goals scored and well above average in goals against. That wasn’t just 2013, that’s every year of the past five, regardless of who is healthy or not, who throws an attitude, who arrives in midseason. Good recipe for making the playoffs year after year, but makes it very hard to win titles.

    The problem here isn’t Sigi, it isn’t the FO, it is the mismatch between the two. Hire a defense-minded, long-ball coach and you should spend your money on players who fit that style of play. A style of play comes from the coach, not the players, and you can’t fix it by throwing more and better players into the pot. Timbers and RSL have had the success this year they have, against expectations, because their FO’s went out and got the players who best implemented the coach’s system.

    This is fixable. Sigi has a lot of great qualities – no one with the results he has had could be otherwise. It wasn’t a bad decision to hire him and it isn’t a bad decision to keep him now. But something is missing and it isn’t more or better players. What’s missing is someone entrusted by Sigi to be the attacking tactician of the coaching staff. Not uncommon in Europe and a precedent that springs to mind is Lowe’s role under Klinsmann with the German National Team.

    • AcidBurn says:

      This whole “we’re going to play possession, attacking soccer” is empty talk. What coach (except maybe Pulis when he was coaching Stoke) openly came out and said “we’re going to play bunker ball, route 1 and hope to nick counter-attack goals?” Nobody, because fans don’t want to hear that.

      The only thing close to this was “Silver Fox” Backe at RBNY and his days of “cynical” soccer.

      • The Other Jeff says:

        I believe Hanauer meant it and understood what it meant. A long-term successful club – in any sport – starts with ownership and FO that have a clear long-term vision. Check. They then choose personnel that have a track record of implementing such a vision. Um….

  13. MLSfan says:

    I love how Seattle is signing more and more burnt-out Euro has-beens :)

    • James says:

      I’m curious who on the team is a burnt-out Euro has-been?

      Johnson? If he leaves, he’ll be the most sought after player in the league. Dempsey? USMNT Captain, undoubtedly one of the most skilled players in the league, and could play for nearly any European club. Martin? Maybe, but injury plagued season, so hard to say. Traore? Played in Europe, but not really a has-been.

      Nice thought though.

      • MLSfan says:

        Dempsey will prove to be a waste of money if he hasn’t already.
        Just watch… he’ll either lay a goose egg or get injured.

  14. Charlie says:

    They need to get Freddy Adu back.

    • Kingsly Alexander says:

      I’ve said it before, but I think Freddy Adu would shine for any big market team, that allows him to be him. He always plays well in the spot light.

      Like Freddy Adu and Peter Nowak? In hindsight, how the hell did anyone expect that to work?

  15. Kingsly Alexander says:

    Sounders need a new LB, CB and some flank players. Too much garbage on their roster

  16. Fat Albert says:

    Sounders won’t win until they get the grass.
    Ping pong is fun to watch but too unpredictable when it’s crunch time. Ask Dempsey how well the ball bounces off the turf and over the crossbar.

  17. Kojo says:

    Sounders season fell apart once Moffat joined. Also, Alonso went into a tailspin and the team chemistry simply fell apart. Hence the poor end of season form. I would guess Alonso was not happy to sharing his role on the team with Moffat and this split the team into two camps. One that supported Alonso and the other implemented by the coaching staff which was to split Alonso’s role on the team. By the end even Moffat looked a shell of the player that he is.

  18. Neruda says:

    Sigi must be a smooth ass talker to have convinced the owners he’s worth keepin around. How can anyone defend starting elder statesman shalrie Joseph at the forward position against Portland in the playoffs. Maybe ej said he refused to play because he’s getting paid enough to only play half a game.

  19. MikeG says:

    Sometimes the tire wears out and needs to be replaced. Seattle ownership failed. A winning team begins in the front office. They failed. Again.