Major League Soccer Friday fined and suspended Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid for the “inappropriate comments” he made during halftime of Seattle’s 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field Wednesday night. The league docked Schmid $2,000 and ordered him to sit out Sunday’s match at the Clink with FC Dallas.
Assistant Brian Schmetzer will serve as head coach Sunday, when the Sounders play their final regular-season MLS home game of the season.
“Sigi Schmid’s comments earlier this week about the officiating were unacceptable,” MLS Commissioner Brian Garber said in a league press release. “MLS requires that its players, coaches, and club leadership maintain proper respect for the officials at all times.”
Schmid made disparaging comments about referee Ricardo Salazar during a halftime sideline television interview as he headed to the Sounders’ locker room. Upset that defender Zach Scott had received two yellow cards, mandating an ejection, Schmid said, “We have our 12th man in the fans and they (Real Salt Lake) have their 12th man in Ricardo Salazar. It’s just a nightmare for us when he referees.”
Since Scott was ejected in the 30th minute, the Sounders had to play a man down for the rest of the match. Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning made two spectacular saves in the final minute to keep the Sounders from losing.
After the match, a visibly upset Schmid went off on Salazar again, saying, “I don’t want any more questions about Salazar, but the thing is, our fans know his name. I don’t think many fans know the name of the referee. I think that’s an indication.”
Later in his post-match press conference, Schmid said, “Lord help us if we get Salazar in the playoffs.”
The Sounders said Friday that they will not comment on the suspension or issue a statement about it.