SEATTLE – Sigi Schmid was in attendance for Sounders FC’s Annual Business Meeting with Season Ticket Members at the Paramount Theatre on Thursday night, but he didn’t exactly feel like talking.
Luckily, the Sounders’ ownership group spoke loud and clear when confirming that the only head coach in the club’s MLS history will return for his eighth season on the sidelines in 2016.
Owners Adrian Hanauer and Joe Roth both confirmed the decision and General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey broke the news by insisting midway through the night that, “Sigi is our coach, Sigi will be our coach, Sigi is my coach.”
Schmid did not meet the media after the announcement was made, but saved his heartiest word for an affirmative response when Lagerwey quipped, “Sigi, you cool with being partners for another year?"
Schmid, 62, has led the club to the MLS Cup Playoffs each of the club’s seven seasons and posted a 109-67-54 record during the regular season. He’s also won four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles in Seattle and last year led the team to the Supporters’ Shield en route to the league’s best regular-season record, the first in franchise history.
Schmid signed a long-term contract extension in December 2014 before leading the team this season to the Western Conference Semifinals, where it lost to FC Dallas in a penalty kick shootout.
“We’re thrilled with Sigi,” Hanauer said. “He’s an awesome part of the franchise, and this is a tough business. A couple penalties go a little bit differently, and we’re preparing for Portland.
“This is such a difficult business, and there are 19 other organizations with really smart, devoted, dedicated people trying to beat us. If we didn’t have anybody to compete against and we didn’t have smart people working hard, it would be easy. But it’s a tough business, and we just have to wake up the day after a loss and figure out how to make it better the next year.”
Schmid said following the loss to Dallas on Sunday that he wanted to return next season and that, “I feel fine, and I still feel capable of coaching.”
Roth said that there was no doubt the ownership group wanted Schmid to return next season, especially after enduring a season filled with injuries and international call-ups and still reaching the postseason.
“It was a very, very difficult year to coach this team, given all the injuries and ups and downs,” Roth said. “I thought he did a really good job."