The Seattle Sounders announced Tuesday morning a mutual parting of the ways with Sigi Schmid the only coach the organization has had since its inception into the MLS. Like any said amicable divorce, the action always leaves more questions than answers. Some to be answered by those on the inside, some never to be told.
The business end of the beautiful game is rarely clean and pretty. Every moment of brilliance on the field has a yang effect off the field, specifically the business operations side.
Schmid joined the Sounders with the sole purpose of capturing the MLS Championship despite the team being an expansion club. While there was no set time table the expectation was sooner than later. Given Schmid’s previous accomplishments , 2008 U.S. Open Cup and MLS Championship, 2002 MLS Championship with LA Galaxy the expectations seemed attainable in short amount of time.
Winning the 2009 U.S. Open Cup in its first try only added to the Sounders high expectations. While the Sounders kept on winning the expectations continued to increase and the 2014 heart break of winning the Supporters Shield, the U.S.Open Cup only to be denied a chance at the MLS Cup by the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference did nothing to quench the thirst
In 2015 the Sounders finished sixth in the Western Conference two points behind the Portland Timbers and that sin looked to be forgiven when the Sounders beat the Galaxy in the knockout round and advanced to the Conference Semi finals. A penalty shoot out loss to FC Dallas in the Semifinals and the Timbers winning the MLS Cup left the Rave Green nation parched.
The sudden departure of Obefami Martins before the teams first game to start the 2016 season, left Schmid in scramble mode regarding the best way to deal with the departure of the teams high scoring forward. Schmid and the Sounders were never able to physically or psychological overcome the loss. Reinforcements were to arrive in the summer signing of Roman Torres, Adreas Ivanschitz and Nelson Valdez. Torres has been injured while Ivanschitz and Valez have been major under performers.
The downward spiral continued as the team was unable to score goals and the low point was last week when the Sounders lost 3-0 to Sporting Kansas City and had one shot in the game which came in the 87th minute and was not on goal.
“I’m proud of the success we’ve achieved in winning five major trophies in Seattle, qualifying for the postseason for seven-straight seasons. ” Schmid said at the Tuesday press conference. “My only disappointment is that we were unable to bring home an MLS Cup to our tremendous fans, who have always been supportive through good times and bad. In closing, I want to thank the Sounders FC organization, the club’s fans and the city of Seattle for this amazing run.”
A classy quote from a classy individual. And in turn the Sounders said all the right things regarding Schmid.
“It’s been a privilege to work with a legend like Sigi and I’ve learned a lot from him. We thank him for his many years of excellent service to this club,” Sounders General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said.
Schmid’s teams captured 11 major titles, he was a two-time MLS Coach of the Year and was recently inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame . Top assistant Brian Schmetzer will be the teams interim coach till the end of the season.