Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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
Seattle and Schmid officially join up
by Ridge Mahoney, December 17th, 2008 6:45AM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Sighs of relief, hearty handshakes, jokes and reminisces, and a few tears highlighted the official announcement Tuesday of Seattle Sounders FC landing Sigi Schmid as its head coach.

"This is a truly a defining moment for our franchise," said general manager Adrian Hanauer, whose family is one of the franchise's investors. "Someone was mentioning that I was wearing a tie for one of the very few times recently. When we announced this franchise, I wasn't wearing a tie. So Sigi, that's how big a day it is for us here in Seattle."

A prolonged waiting period, imposed by Columbus to prevent Seattle from speaking with Schmid until his contract expired Nov. 30, occasionally roiled with accusations of tampering and impropriety. Once he'd won his second MLS Cup with the Crew and that period ended, Schmid and Seattle quickly reached a deal to bring Schmid closer to his Southern California roots and to an area where he has family.

"We've always had a special bond," said Schmid of his brother Roland, who played for Schmid at UCLA. "I'm getting emotional again. Part of it is my mother passed away at an early age. He was 13 at the time. I was 23. There's always been a bond between us because of that.

"So being able to know that he's around and his family is around and I've got nephews, nieces in the area as well certainly makes it a great situation."

In addition to his brother and other family members, Schmid joins another one of his former players, ex-U.S. international Chris Henderson, who is Seattle's technical director.

"Of any coach in America, I've played for a lot of coaches, Sigi knows more about individual details of the players," said Henderson, who won an NCAA title with Schmid at UCLA in 1990. "You name a player. He'll tell you how he runs, what he uses, what his strengths and weaknesses are. He knows players in this country. He has a unique way of getting the most out of each guy."

MLS did not impose a fine on Seattle for its pursuit of Schmid, as was reported in Tuesday's SoccerAmericaDaily. A Sounders source, speaking on condition of anonymity, reiterated the league's statement that it found no evidence of tampering.

The league confirmed the existence of a non-compete clause, effective through 2009, in Schmid's contract as cited by Columbus, and directed the teams to negotiate compensation. Seattle bought out the clause in Schmid's contract for $25,000 and an unspecified amount of allocation money.

Schmid covered a lot of bases in his comments and even hearkened back to the days of the NASL Sounders, which drew large crowds in its early years before withering and fading from sight after the 1983 season. Hanauer helped revive soccer in the area and retained the nickname for teams that played in the lower American leagues, including the A-League and United Soccer Leagues.

His efforts to join MLS were rebuffed until entertainment mogul Joe Roth signed on as primary investor and the company that runs the NFL Seahawks, Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, and CEO Tod Leiweke came aboard on behalf of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Actor and producer Drew Carey is a minority investor.

"There's a gentleman in this room who was a part of the original Sounders by the name of Jimmy Gabriel," said Schmid. "And he said something to me a long time ago that has always stuck with me. And he said, 'soccer can't be fun, fun, and it can't be serious, serious. It's got to be serious fun.'

"So, I'm telling you right now, in these years ahead we're going to have some serious fun. And I'm very happy to be here in Seattle."




No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
U.S. Abroad: Torres absent from Copa Libertadores final    
After starting both legs of the semifinals, Jose Torres did not play for Mexico's Tigres in ...
MLS honors Rothenberg with legacy award    
MLS founder Alan Rothenberg was named the first recipient of an award that will bear his ...
What They're Saying: Prince Ali    
"[Michel] Platini is not good for FIFA, Football's fans and players deserve better. FIFA is engulfed ...
MLS All-Star Game Takeaways: Kaka carries All-Stars    
Brazilian star Kaka says he grew up and loved watching U.S. all-star games. He finally got ...
ICYMI MLS: Penedo leaves Galaxy, Barnetta goes to Philly    
It looks like Donovan Ricketts could be on his way back to L.A. in the aftermath ...
Video Pick: Lloyd golazo ups goal streak to seven games    
If there is one lesson NWSL opponents should have learned from the Women's World Cup, it's ...
What They're Saying: Abby Wambach    
"I haven't made a decision about the Olympics next summer and I would have to make ...
USL Roundup: Board of Governors meets in Denver    
For the third straight year, the USL has held its annual midseason Board of Governors meeting ...
How does MLS All-Stars vs. Liga MX All-Stars sound?    
With Wednesday's AT&T MLS All-Star Game set to pit the MLS All-Stars against Tottenham at Dick's ...
TV Report: Gold Cup reaches more than 6.8 million viewers    
The Gold Cup final between Mexico and Jamaica was watched by 6 million viewers on Univision, ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives