All Brian Schmetzer did in 2016 was to rescue what was quickly becoming a lost season for the Seattle Sounders, take them to the MLS Cup Playoffs, on to the brink of the Western Conference finals, and land himself the permanent head-coaching gig before season’s end.
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That last bit was made official on Wednesday night, announced by the Sounders at their Alliance Annual Business Meeting.
Many fans and pundits, including yours truly, left the Sounders for dead in late-July after the dismissal of longtime head coach Sigi Schmid, which came two days after a pathetic display in Kansas City that saw the entire team essentially quit on MLS’s all-time wins leader.
After being Schmetzer named interim coach on July 26, Schmetzer guided the Sounders to a record of 8W-4D-2L down the stretch of the regular season in order to qualify for the playoffs, at which point they eliminated Sporting Kansas City in the knockout round, and hold a commanding 3-0 lead on Supporters’ Shield-winning FC Dallas in the conference semifinals. The widely-held thought was that Schmetzer would have to take the Sounders to MLS Cup to land the permanent gig, but sound logic prevailed in the end.