Head Coach Brian Schmetzer is a Sounder through-and-through.
Born and raised in Seattle, Schmetzer’s connection to the Sounders spans four decades and several iterations of the club. First as a player and then a coach, few figures personify Seattle soccer quite as much as the Sounders steward.
Last week, Schmetzer sat down with Soccer America’s Scott French to discuss his tenure in the Pacific Northwest and the lessons he’s learned throughout his career.
According to Schmetzer, his fondest early memories were attending NASL Sounders matches at Memorial Stadium with his family and getting to meet the players.
“A couple [Sounders players] came to our birthday party, and our friend had this big backyard where we all used to kick the ball around, and we were actually playing soccer against these Sounders that we would watch in the stadium on a Saturday afternoon or Sunday afternoon,” recalled Schmetzer. “And that was like one of the biggest highlights in our lives, just being able to, you know, kick the ball around with these pro players.”
Schmetzer also discussed his playing days across outdoor and indoor professional soccer, including how the indoor game has shaped his philosophy as a coach. Later in the interview, he recounted how Sounders FC owner Adrian Hanauer brought him into the fold during the USL days.
Schmetzer also offered plenty of praise for his coaching staff, revealing how each assistant brings a diverse set of strengths to the table, and their influence on the team’s identity.
“Tommy Dutra has been my rock, he's been my conscience, the guy that sits on the shoulder, and he bleeds Sounder blue,” he said. “But then when Gonzalo Pineda came on board, he had some new ideas. When Djimi Traore came on board, he has a ton of ideas. I brought Preki here with me. He obviously has a strong opinion about how the game is played. I think I've compiled a really diverse staff, and Djimi and Gonzo are in the middle of their UEFA Pro and UEFA A licenses, so they're the fresh views, they're the young coaches that are learning new things, and we incorporate some of those ideas into our training sessions.
“Preki's the guy that's the kind of right counterbalance for me, because I'm a little more laid back. I like the guys to enjoy themselves. It's still a game and stuff like that. But Preki really knows how to drive a training session in the right moments.”
You can read the full interview HERE.