The Seattle Sounders, currently ten points out of a playoff berth in the Western Conference, “agreed to mutually part ways” with head coach Sigi Schmid on Tuesday.
Schmid has won two MLS Cup titles, first in 2002 with the Los Angeles Galaxy then again in 2008 with the Columbus Crew. That trophy has eluded him in Seattle, where he became the first head coach in the Sounders’ MLS history in December 2008. He did win a Supporters’ Shield in 2014 and four Lamar Hunt US Open Cup trophies.
Brian Schmetzer, Seattle’s top assistant and former head coach of the Sounders’ USL team from 2002-2008, will be the interim head coach for the Sounders.
Now that a legendary coach of Schmid’s stature is available, does he become a candidate in Atlanta?
On a positive note for Sigi Schmid.... I'm sure that '5 man shortlist' for the Atlanta job just rose to 6. Or does he wait out for LA? #MLS— Callum Williams (@CalWilliamsComm) July 26, 2016
Schmid is the most experienced coach in MLS history, with over 500 matches managed in his career. His teams have won eleven trophies. He is the last manager to take an expansion team to the playoffs, which he accomplished with the Sounders in 2009. His Seattle teams have qualified for the playoffs every year he was at the helm.
Another new expansion team could be appealing to Schmid as well. With his long time ties to the region, Schmid might be willing to wait another year for the Los Angeles FC manager role. He was the head coach at UCLA from 1980-1999 and then managed the LA Galaxy from 1999-2004.
There is a link between Atlanta United and Sigi Schmid. Technical director Carlos Bocanegra played for Schmid at UCLA from 1997-1999 before he joined the Chicago Fire to start his professional career. Bocanegra mentioned that the manager hire could happen at any time and that the club is working from a short list to make a final decision prior to Schmid becoming available.
Is Schmid the ideal first manager for Atlanta United? Let us know what you think in the comments.