Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Schmid and Seattle finally team up
by Ridge Mahoney, December 16th, 2008 7AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

The long, twisting saga of Seattle FC's pursuit of Sigi Schmid will end Tuesday with the official announcement of his hiring, a day after MLS imposed a penalty on the expansion team for unspecified improprieties.

Seattle must give Columbus, which Schmid led to its first MLS Cup in the final year of his three-year contract, an unspecified amount of cash - i.e, a fine -- and allocation money to secure the services of Schmid, who turned down several attempts by the Crew to retain him.

MLS also announced it investigated charges of tampering by Seattle, whose technical director, Chris Henderson, has known Schmid for more than 20 years, since he played for Schmid at UCLA. The league said it found no evidence of tampering, though whatever criteria or definition of "tampering" it uses has never been specified.

The Crew cited Schmid's contract included a non-compete clause for 2009 and claimed that certain financial details had been communicated to Seattle.

Schmid's desire to return to the West Coast - he coached the Galaxy for five seasons after leaving UCLA - and some disgruntlement regarding his relationship with Hunt Sports Group management precluded any chance he'd stay in Columbus. When they brokered a deal in late 2005, HSG refused to negotiate with representation and dealt exclusively with Schmid, which may be one way a non-compete clause slips into the contract of a successful coach.

Either through Henderson or other individuals, Seattle learned how much Schmid had been making and what the Crew had offered to keep him. A source said early in the process Schmid was earning in the neighborhood of $175,000 per year and Columbus had offered "something less" than $300,000.

Those numbers and others believed to be in the ballpark had been widely reported, so only HSG and MLS know how blame came to be placed on Schmid, Henderson and Seattle. Yet Columbus, apparently, convinced the league that by knowing how much it was willing to pay Seattle gained an unfair advantage in negotiations and violated confidentiality clauses in the contract that was in force until officially terminated Nov. 30.

HSG refused permission for Schmid and Seattle to discuss employment until the contract expired and by whatever means, if information was exchanged, MLS had no choice but to impose punishment, whether or not a non-compete clause - the existence of which has been questioned - was in place.

The league followed a similar course last year when Juan Carlos Osorio exercised a clause in his contract that empowered him to join Red Bull New York, which didn't need to approach him, since Osorio publicly stated his intention to move east, which could be construed as reverse tampering.

In any case, it cost New York some allocation money and a first-round draft pick to nab Osorio after the Red Bulls were initially denied permission to speak with him. Sound familiar?

In any case, this announcement closes months of speculation and outright inaccuracy, dating back to reports that the Seattle coaching job was offered to Kansas City technical director Peter Vermes two months ago. According to a Seattle team official, that never happened. There were also stories stating Schmid demanded to be paid the highest coaching salary in MLS, which a source labeled "utterly false."

Regardless, Seattle has its man, the only coach in league history to win championships with two different teams. Can there be a third?



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Business Reporter: Union teams up with Dogfish Head    
The Philadelphia Union will open to a new destination beer garden with Dogfish Head Brewery at ...
Columbus switches USL PRO affiliations    
The Columbus Crew will team up with the Austin Aztex to send players from its first ...
Lee Nguyen: Sitting back is not in Revs' DNA    
The New England Revolution tied an MLS record when it scored nine goals in its first ...
What They're Saying: Jerome Valcke    
"It is easy to destroy a reputation, it takes one second, it takes years to build ...
Champions League scenarios: 11 teams for five spots    
Eleven teams have qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League, and 11 more teams, ...
Video Pick: Bend it like Uesato    
Our favorite free kick goal of the week comes from J-League 2, where Consadole Sapporo's Kazumasa ...
Breaking down the NCAA Division I women's quarterfinals    
The NCAA Division I Women's Tournament moves into the quarterfinals with three games on Friday and ...
A back-heel sombrero from Greek boy     
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] Greek youth soccer, in a game between AO Ioannina and Agia Eleousa, delivers ...
What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho    
"Obviously they must be very sad with the result but when we lose against a team ...
Report: W-League champion Pali Blues are folding    
The LA Blues won W-League titles as the Pali Blues in 2009, 2009 and 2013 and ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives