Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Schmid and Seattle finally team up
by Ridge Mahoney, December 16th, 2008 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily



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



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Georgia teen Reuben Nsemoh    
"My friends would always talk to me in Spanish and would teach me. I wasn't perfect, ...
U.S. Abroad: Pulisic rescues Borussia Dortmund    
Christian Pulisic came off the bench to set up one goal and score the tying goal ...
Lauren Holiday recovering after successful surgery    
Former U.S. national team star Lauren Holiday is recovering after having successful surgery at Duke University ...
What They're Saying: Jake Edwards    
"It'll evolve slightly for some of those teams over the coming seasons, I believe. We'll find ...
MLS Decision Day: What's at stake    
The 2016 Supporters' Shield and the final two playoff berths are on the line on Sunday ...
MLS Countdown: Donovan, Gordon are Galaxy wild cards    
Last weekend Landon Donovan started his first game since coming out of retirement yet it was ...
This week in women's college soccer    
Stanford junior Andi Sullivan and BYU senior Ashley Hatch made their national team debuts with the ...
This week in men's college soccer    
One of the most impressive streaks in recent years in men's college soccer is Denver's 32-game ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"I would love to do that, but there's still this thing, stigma, lack of respect or ...
CCL: FC Dallas rallies to clinch group title    
Needing at least a tie to advance, FC Dallas rallied from 2-0 down after 22 minutes ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives