Interpreting comments is hardly an exact science. That said, we would need to squint really, really hard to see anything positive in Adrian Hanauer’s comments today regarding the future of coach Sigi Schmid.
The Sounders’ GM (and a minority owner) talked to reporters today, discussing the season and other matters. Clearly, though, the topic du jour is Schmid’s ongoing role with the high profile club.
Hanauer said that he, Schmid and owner Joe Roth will gather soon, most likely this week, to do the annual assessments, goings-over, rehash, hash-out, etc. Only, this will be no ordinary rehash; this one will decide the club’s future, most significantly as it pertains to Schmid’s return or departure after (what can only be seen as) a disappointing end to a 2013 season of high expectation.
Here is what Hanauer said:
Clearly, this was a very frustrating season for all of us in the organization, our fans. Probably the most frustrating in five years I’ve been with the club. Maybe the most frustrating in the 12 years I’ve been with the Sounders. There are obviously lots of different factors that play into those sorts of frustrations and, really on Friday morning after the Portland series we went to work trying to fix those deficiencies.
“Clearly there are going to be a bunch of questions about Sigi and the coaching status … but just like every year in the past, we’ve taken some time after the season ends to decompress a little bit, to catch our breath, to meet and talk through what went well and what didn’t go well, and what the solutions are to what didn’t go well.
“This year will be no different: We’re going to go through that process, we’re going through that process as of now, and there are a lot of big decisions that ownership has to make over this offseason, and we will take our time, be methodical, be rational, hopefully not make emotional decisions based on the pain and frustration of losing a playoff series like we did to Portland.
Clearly, there is more to resolve for this club. At the excellent team blog Sounder at Heart, Jeremiah Oshan goes into great detail on the significant personnel issues, questions about leadership, about a handsomely compensated goalkeeper who collapsed at the worst possible time, about Clint Dempsey’s best role, about a roster top-heavy with pricey forwards, about a central defense that just doesn’t pass the test and more.
And what of Eddie Johnson, who wants more money. He’s not a guy you can low-ball and then just say, “Ah, what could possibly go wrong?” Because there’s a lot that could.
Presumably, the league’s gold standard at holding mid, Osvaldo Alonso, wants a pay bump, too. Where does that fit in the bigger picture?
A lot of this stuff is on Hanauer as club GM. But the coach should have some say, too. It just seems prudent to weave a coach’s style and his personnel philosophies into the critical roster choices, right?
Otherwise, you’re going down weird and unpredictable paths and … well, see “Toronto FC” or “D.C. United.”