U.S. Open Cup: Sigi Schmid backs off anti-Seattle talk

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Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid was more measured in his comments late Monday, made to MLSSoccer.com’s ExtraTime radio, regarding U.S. Soccer’s treatment of his club in the U.S. Open Cup.

We noted on a ProSoccerTalk post yesterday that Schmid was wrong to lob unfounded and misplaced accusations at Open Cup organizers; Schmid essentially accused organizers of rigging the results in scheduling, creating a tougher path for his Sounders.

He said he believed U.S. Soccer might be trying to make it “more difficult” for Seattle to win.

They didn’t make sense for several reasons, most of which we went over yesterday. I didn’t say this, but should have: U.S. Soccer has zero interest in seeing Seattle out of the tournament. Games in Seattle are money makers for U.S. Soccer, and a team on a run of championships certainly isn’t a bad thing in PR terms.

Here’s what Schmid said Monday on ExtraTime radio, as he was more strategic in seeking better transparency in the process: “I probably went overboard in some of the things I said. What I am really campaigning for more than anything else, I would just like to see transparency in the coin flip.”

Schmid’s comments Monday, being more measured and better targeted, certainly deserve to be heard. He clearly cares about the tournament, about how it’s organized and run. And he’s correct that it certainly isn’t perfect; U.S. Soccer still makes mistakes in a process that remains highly imperfect – but one that is moving in the right direction.

It’s just that Schmid’s message got lost previously, as those comments that painted the Sounders, a club that has quickly become a powerful and influential voice in domestic soccer, as victims.