, the only coach the Seattle Sounders have ever had in their eight MLS seasons, is out. Schmid won MLS titles with the LA Galaxy (2002) and Columbus (2008) but could not lead the
Sounders to one MLS Cup final. He leaves with a 6-12-2 record in 2016 and the Sounders in ninth place, unlikely to make the playoffs for the first time. Brian Schmetzer
coached the Sounders in the USL and became Schmid's assistant when the club moved to MLS, will take over as interim coach.
"Sigi Schmid has been an invaluable member of Sounders FC since
the club's MLS launch, leading our organization to numerous trophies and a consistent winning culture for seven seasons," said Sounders FC owner Adrian Hanauer.
"Sigi departs the club with our
utmost respect and gratitude for his years of service. Ultimately, the club and Sigi agreed that a change was needed at this time, but Sigi's legacy will always be a part of our history. He has my
sincere appreciation for all that he committed to our team and community."
Schmid is the only coach to have worked more than 500 regular-season MLS matches. He leads the league with 228
regular-season victories and his 26 playoff wins are second in MLS history behind only Bruce Arena
's 30. He departs with a 115-79-56 record in 250 games at Seattle. Only two other coaches of
MLS expansion teams have even coached 100 or more games.
Schmid led the Sounders to U.S. Open Cup titles in each of their first three MLS seasons (1999-2001) and they won a fourth, tying
the Chicago Fire for the most Open Cup championships by an MLS club. The Sounders also won the MLS Supporters' Shield in 2014. Before becoming an MLS coach, Schmid led alma mater UCLA to three
national titles (1985, 1990, 1997). He also coached the USA twice at the Under-20 World Cup, the second time in 2005 between his tenures with the Galaxy and Crew.
The Sounders have never
had a losing record but slumped badly in 2016. The final straw was a 3-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday when they were outshot, 19-1. Their one shot tied an MLS record for the fewest shots in
Right before the start of the season, star Obafemi Martins
left for China. It was a loss from which the Sounders could not recover. Martins scored 40 goals in three MLS
seasons -- including -- nine of MLS Goals of the Week -- but on top of that his playmaking and combination play with Clint Dempsey
were the keys to the Seattle attack. Indeed, the two most
productive seasons of Martins' career were in 2014 and 2015.
Schmid was almost removed after what then-majority owner Joe Roth
termed a "horrible" end to the 2013 season
and was retained after the 2015 playoffs when they beat the defending champion LA Galaxy in the play-in game before falling to FC Dallas in the conference semifinals.
"I want to thank
Seattle Sounders FC for the opportunity to lead this club over the past eight years, with particular gratitude to Adrian Hanauer, Joe Roth and the rest of the club's ownership group. I'd also like to
thank my coaches and technical staff for the support they've given me, and most importantly I want to thank my players for their tremendous effort throughout the years," said Schmid. "I'm proud of the
success we've achieved in winning five major trophies in Seattle, qualifying for the postseason for seven-straight seasons. My only disappointment is that we were unable to bring home an MLS Cup to
our tremendous fans, who have always been supportive through good times and bad. In closing, I want to thank the Sounders FC organization, the club's fans and the city of Seattle for this amazing