Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid still has his sights firmly set on the MLS Cup
There was some concern among Seattle Sounders fans that Sigi Schmid might leave, after the team’s heartbreaking playoff loss to FC Dallas. However, ownership put any such fears to rest on Thursday, at the Sounders Annual Business Meeting with season ticket holders.
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As reported by www.soundersfc.com, owners Adrian Hanauer and Joe Roth confirmed Schmid will be returning for the 2016 season. General Manger and President Garth Lagerwey added: “Sigi is our coach, Sigi will be our coach, Sigi is my coach.”
The 62-year old Schmid has been a revelation since coming to Seattle. He has led the team to the playoffs in each of their seven season in MLS.
In that time, he has complied a regular season record of 109-67-54. The Sounders have also won four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups and last year claimed their first ever Supporters Shield, awarded annually to the team with the league’s best record.
However, despite all this success, Schmid has yet to claim the top prize for the rabid Pacific Northwest fan base. And you better believe that this grates on him, despite having previously won the top prize with the LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew.
(The situation actually reminds me a lot of the Seattle SuperSonics during the 1990s’. They were another hugely talented team, but unfortunately, they never quite managed to win it all.)
Oct 18, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Seatle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid walks onto the field prior to the game against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
In fairness to the former UCLA midfielder, he had previously indicated his desire to continue coaching the Sounders. Speaking after the penalty shootout defeat to FC Dallas, he said: “I feel fine, and I still feel capable of coaching.”
The fact of the matter was that the final decision was always going to come down to the ownership group. As per Thursday’s announcement, it is clear they still have full confidence in Schmid.
As reported by Matt Pentz of the Seattle Times, the Sounders new majority owner Hanauer said: “We’re thrilled with Sigi. He’s an awesome part of the franchise.
“This is a tough business. Tie 3-3, lose on penalties – a couple of penalties go a little differently and we’re preparing for Portland.”
You could argue that the 2015 season was the toughest campaign yet for the Schmid and the Sounders team. They set a franchise record for losses in a season, but also had to contend with a seemingly never-ending stream of injury issues.
In many respects, the true measure of a person is how they respond in the face of adversity, which explains why Schmid will remain with the team. As Roth said: “I actually think our coach did one of his best coaching jobs this year.
“It was a very, very difficult year to coach this team, given all the injuries and the ups and downs. I thought he did a great job.”
In truth, Schmid is nearer to the end than the start of his time as Sounders head coach. As such, it is up to the likes of Clint Dempsey and Osvaldo Alonso to help ensure that he leaves Seattle with a third MLS Cup to his name.