Seattle Sounders name Brian Schmetzer permanent Head Coach
It was one of those No Da announcements. The Seattle Sounders FC made the unofficial official Wednesday night at their Alliance Annual Business when they announced that the interim tag had been removed from Brian Schmetzer’s title and effectively named him the team’s permanent head coach.
“We are excited to hire a person in Brian who has meant so much to the Sounders for so long,” said Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey. “Our club culture is of paramount importance to us and there could not be a better fit than Brian. Coach Schmetzer has done an outstanding job in turning the team around this year, and I’m excited to continue working with him. We are not finished yet.”
Schmetzer took over the coaching role from Sigi Schmid the franchise only head coach up after a disappointing 3-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on July 24th. It was the team’s worst loss of the season. The team managed just one shot in the game and the wide right kick was not even on goal. The Sounders were 6-12-2 on the season and in ninth place in the ten-team Western Conference.
After naming Schmetzer as the interim coach, the Sounders announced the signing of Uruguayan midfielder Nicola Lodeiro from Boca Juniors. Lodeiro has earned over 40 caps and was part of the Uruguayan team place fourth in the 2010 FIFA World Cup and won the 2011 Copa America Tournament.
With the talented Lodeiro at his disposal, Schmetzer switched the teams tactical formation on the field from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1 which made the Sounders attack less predictable and took advantage of Lodeiros extraordinary ball dribbling skills in the middle of the pitch and Jordan Morris speed up front as well as Joevin Jones and Cristina Roldan’s quickness on the flanks. The tactical change paid instant dividends as the team went 3-0-2 on it’s next five games and never looked back. The Sounders went 8-2-4 the under Schmetzer and finished the season 14-6-14 good enough for fourth place in the Western Conference. The turn around from ninth to fourth set a record for the greatest turnaround in MLS league history.
” Initially we talked about waiting till the season was over, I am very happy I was able to win them over the team, and it was a welcome surprise. Schmetzer said during the team’s press conference announcement.
Schmetzer is currently unbeaten in nine games at CenturyLink Field (7-0-2), including a pair of shutout wins in the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs.