Sounders' Schmid returning as coach
Sigi Schmid is staying on as manager of the Seattle Sounders in 2014.
The club announced the decision in a statement from majority owner Joe Roth on Thursday morning. Schmid's status had been in doubt after the Sounders flopped at the end of the season, going winless in nine of their final 10 games, and were ousted in the MLS Western Conference semifinals by Portland.
Roth says there is "no question Schmid is the right man to lead our club."
Schmid has been the only coach in team history. He's led Seattle to the postseason in each of his five seasons and won a pair of U.S. Open Cup titles. But the Sounders have been unable to match expectations in the MLS postseason, only once reaching the conference finals.
Schmid's retention comes in spite of a disastrous finish to the 2013 campaign. As recently as August the Sounders were leading the race for the Supporters Shield, and after signing Clint Dempsey in a blockbuster transfer from English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, the club looked poised to make a deep playoff run.
But a seven-game winless streak to end the regular season, brought on in part by injuries and international call-ups, saw Seattle slip to fourth place in the Western Conference. And while the Sounders began the postseason by defeating the Colorado Rapids 2-0 in a play-in game, a 5-3 aggregate defeat to Cascadia rivals the Portland Timbers put Schmid's job in jeopardy.
But after meeting with minority owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer as well as Roth, it now confirmed that Schmid's job is safe.
"Sigi has won two MLS Cups and it won't be long before he does it here in Seattle," Roth added. "We continue to strive for excellence and we will do everything we can and give him all the resources possible to make that a reality."
Schmid is the only manager the club has known since it joined MLS back in 2009, and during that time Seattle has claimed three U.S. Open Cup titles. The club has also qualified for the playoffs every season, a feat matched only by the Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake. But the playoffs have also seen the Sounders struggle, winning just two postseason matchups in seven attempts.
Now, despite those failures, ownership is continuing to show faith in Schmid, and he is now set to remain in Seattle for another season.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.