Here to Stay: Head Coach Brian Schmetzer is eager to sustain club's success

Head Coach Brian Schmetzer is here to stay.

Sounders FC announced on Monday that Schmetzer, whose ties to the organization date back to the 1980’s, has signed a multiyear contract extension with the club.

Following the announcement, Seattle’s steward addressed the media and spoke at length about his enthusiasm to help sustain the club’s legacy of success in the coming years.

“[Sounders FC] is one of the best clubs in MLS,” said Schmetzer. “And I’m very, very proud to be associated with this club.”

With his Sounders future secured, Schmetzer is eager to turn the page and focus on driving the club forward. His primary goal is to preserve what he described as the fabric of the franchise: winning championships.

“The objective of the club is to win as many trophies [and] games as possible,” he added. “That’s always been the calling card of the club, even back in the 1970’s… I just want to continue [that].”

Schmetzer’s tenure in MLS speaks for itself. In addition to reaching four MLS Cups in five seasons – lifting two of them – he holds the highest winning percentage in postseason history. During his four full seasons at the helm of Sounders FC, the team has never finished below second in the West.

Following a disappointing defeat to the Columbus Crew in the 2020 MLS Cup, Schmetzer is keen to steer Seattle back to the final for another shot at adding the club’s third star.

“I’m a guy that hates to lose,” said Schmetzer. “The sting from the last game we played certainly is there sitting in my stomach. We want to get back after it. I want to make sure that we get back to another Cup final and continue the success that we’ve had.”

While the objective of reaching MLS Cup and contending for trophies remains the same, how Schmetzer and the Sounders get there will look a bit different in 2021.

After the club announced the loan of Jordan Morris last week, Sounders FC General Manager & President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey spoke about the roster construction, and where the team stands in its current cycle. The spine of the team is filled with top-tier, veteran guys like Stefan Frei, Yeimar, João Paulo, Cristian Roldan, Nicolás Lodeiro and Raúl Ruidíaz. Now the challenge is to build around that core by integrating some of the talented prospects that have emerged from the club’s Academy pipeline in recent years.

Added Schmetzer: “We’re trying to find the right balance of sustaining success, and yet, like I said, there’s some young players on the horizon that can be very good players for us.”

“The balance of having young players come up, and having the established players to win games in MLS now. That’s what we’re searching for.”

Looking beyond the upcoming MLS campaign, Schmetzer spoke fondly about his love for the city of Seattle, and what it has meant for him to be at the helm of his boyhood club. Asked whether he would like to finish his career with the Sounders, Schmetzer supplied a moment of levity that also tugged at the heartstrings.

“Maybe I can just be the ball kid or something,” he quipped. “Hopefully, I can stay a Sounder for life.”

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