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Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer discusses Sigi Schmid’s situation

Nov 11, 2013, 10:01 PM EDT

Kasey Keller, Adrian Hanauer, Drew Carey Getty Images

Interpreting comments is hardly an exact science. That said, we would need to squint really, really hard to see anything positive in Adrian Hanauer’s comments today regarding the future of coach Sigi Schmid.

The Sounders’ GM (and a minority owner) talked to reporters today, discussing the season and other matters. Clearly, though, the topic du jour is Schmid’s ongoing role with the high profile club.

Hanauer said that he, Schmid and owner Joe Roth will gather soon, most likely this week, to do the annual assessments, goings-over, rehash, hash-out, etc.  Only, this will be no ordinary rehash; this one will decide the club’s future, most significantly as it pertains to Schmid’s return or departure after (what can only be seen as) a disappointing end to a 2013 season of high expectation.

Here is what Hanauer said:

Clearly, this was a very frustrating season for all of us in the organization, our fans. Probably the most frustrating in five years I’ve been with the club. Maybe the most frustrating in the 12 years I’ve been with the Sounders. There are obviously lots of different factors that play into those sorts of frustrations and, really on Friday morning after the Portland series we went to work trying to fix those deficiencies.

“Clearly there are going to be a bunch of questions about Sigi and the coaching status … but just like every year in the past, we’ve taken some time after the season ends to decompress a little bit, to catch our breath, to meet and talk through what went well and what didn’t go well, and what the solutions are to what didn’t go well.

“This year will be no different: We’re going to go through that process, we’re going through that process as of now, and there are a lot of big decisions that ownership has to make over this offseason, and we will take our time, be methodical, be rational, hopefully not make emotional decisions based on the pain and frustration of losing a playoff series like we did to Portland.

Clearly, there is more to resolve for this club. At the excellent team blog Sounder at Heart, Jeremiah Oshan goes into great detail on the significant personnel issues, questions about leadership, about a handsomely compensated goalkeeper who collapsed at the worst possible time, about Clint Dempsey’s best role, about a roster top-heavy with pricey forwards, about a central defense that just doesn’t pass the test and more.

And what of Eddie Johnson, who wants more money. He’s not a guy you can low-ball and then just say, “Ah, what could possibly go wrong?”  Because there’s a lot that could.

Presumably, the league’s gold standard at holding mid, Osvaldo Alonso, wants a pay bump, too. Where does that fit in the bigger picture?

A lot of this stuff is on Hanauer as club GM. But the coach should have some say, too. It just seems prudent to weave a coach’s style and his personnel philosophies into the critical roster choices, right?

Otherwise, you’re going down weird and unpredictable paths and … well, see “Toronto FC” or “D.C. United.”

  1. hildezero - Nov 11, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    If a club like Seattle are the most talented club in the league, but can’t win a trophy, then that means it’s the coach’s fault…

  2. ojom4130 - Nov 11, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    When you win just one of ten at the end of the year you are in free-fall, and can’t wait to open up the parachute.

  3. talgrath - Nov 12, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    As I mentioned before, I don’t think the Sounders are going to make a coaching decision immediately. They have at least a month to make a decision, so I think they will go shopping and see if they can find a coach that they think will be better. Make no mistake, Sigi Schmid,is an excellent MLS coach and he has brought the Sounders to the playoffs every year of their existence in MLS; you don’t just toss that away because you haven’t gotten the MLS Cup. Here’s the thing though, it’s very possible Sigi just isn’t the right coach for the Sounders organization, not that he’s a bad coach that needs to be fired because he is terrible. Sigi has been given a wealth of talent, not just up front but all over the field, and he hasn’t capitalized on it; maybe, like in Columbus, he needs limits and grit and desperation to really do well or maybe the game has moved on from where he was. It’s worth noting that when Sigi won his cup, MLS was a very different place; anything other than a 4-4-2 was almost unheard of and Beckham had just become the first Designated Player in MLS history a year ago and you could only have one DP, the salary cap was still $2.3 million and overall clubs just didn’t have big names on their rosters in general. Now you’re asking a guy who’s previous experience was in managing approximately $2 million in talent to manage over $9 million in talent and all of the egos that go with it. I’m not sure if Sigi should stay or not, the Sounders have made the playoffs for the entirety of their existence under Shmid, but at the same time they’ve failed to go farther than a single western conference final in that time; if you fire Schmid, the worry has to be in your mind that the Sounders might miss the playoffs, but then there’s that chance that they actually win the Cup under the right manager. Personally, I think Schmid’s time is done in Seattle, for better or worse, I just hope it isn’t for worse.

  4. footballer4ever - Nov 12, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Thanks Sigi Schmid for your contributions you brought to Seattle Sounders Football Club; However, this club has not develop much more than it should and in 5 years as the captain reaching the playoff is not enough anymore. This team has reached a stagnant status and a new coach might just be the fresh air among some player movements will do the trick. Again, thanks for what you done , but it’s time to say goodbye.

  5. dws110 - Nov 12, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    This is terrible from Adrian Hanauer. Either fire Sigi or back him 100%, but make a call! This wishy-washy dithering and faffing about does no one any good at all. Are they (Seattle’s ownership) trying to leave Sigi out in the cold, hoping that he quits so they don’t have to buy out his contract? That’s the only way this stupid indecision and wasted time makes any sense. What’s the benefit of waiting? You don’t want to appear knee-jerk and reactionary? Now you just appear weak and unable to make a decision. The end result is either you’ve lost time in searching for/acclimating a new coach, or you’ve left Sigi stewing and dangling on the line…both of which are poor management methods.

    Fire him or fully support him, but do it now.

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