They teetered on the brink of pushing the panic button, but the Seattle Sounders decided to stick with their man.
“After a thorough evaluation, there is no question that Sigi Schmid is the right man to lead our club,” said Sounders owner Joe Roth.
Obviously if it required a “thorough evaluation” there was a question whether he was the right man, but point taken.
“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.”
It’s a resounding statement from the club, and while Roth may be contradicting himself a few times in the quotes above, Schmid will have another go. From the sounds of it, he’s on a short leash.
The move is the right one though. How many times in the sports history book have we seen teams make knee-jerk reactions to losing in the playoffs earlier than expected to hated rivals?
Firing Schmid would only serve to hand an experienced, quality manager to another club.
However, there is no arguing that the Sounders must do better. The club flamed out in the stretch run, winless in nine of their last 10 and no good enough for Portland in the Western Conference semifinals.
The talented roster put together at CenturyLink Field should no question do better. There are definitely signs to point to looking back as possible contributors to the late-season demise, but ultimately performance is needed.
With rumors of offseason movement in Seattle already flying, it’s clear the club is going to do everything in its power to challenge next season, which is all supporters can ask for. After that, it’s Schmid’s contractual duty to squeeze the best of what he’s given.
For the 2-time MLS coach of the year, he’s got another shot. One more shot, one more opportunity, to seize everything Seattle fans ever wanted. It’s MLS Cup or bust for Sigi Schmid. He remains the only coach in their history for at least the start of next year, with a lot to go in between.