The Seattle Sounders have signed coach Sigi Schmid to a multi-year contract coming off the best season in franchise history. General manager Adrian Hanauer announced the new contract Thursday.
Schmid has been Seattle’s coach since its 2009 expansion year, and his club has made the playoffs all six seasons. They have won three U.S. Open Cup titles and this year’s Supporters’ Shield as the best team in the regular season. But they were nudged from Western Conference finals by the Los Angeles Galaxy, which also moved them out in 2010 and 2012.
Schmid nearly lost his job after the previous season, when the Sounders won one of their fianal 10 matches and flamed out in the playoffs against rival Portland. But owner Joe Roth said recently that “firing the players” was the better course, and the team responded with its best regular season record (20-10-4).
Schmid won MLS Cup titles coaching in Los Angeles in 2002 and Columbus in 2008. The Supporters’ Shield title with Seattle was the third time Schmid led a team to that honor.
Hanauer also announced that it’s “highly likely” defender DeAndre Yedlin will obtain a work permit in England and expects him to join Tottenham Hotspur this month. Yedlin signed a four-year deal with Tottenham in August.
The Sounders also declined the contract options of eight players and let another player’s contract expire without further negotiation. That leaves 22 remaining from the 2014 team that captured the Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup, plus recently signed homegrown product Victor Mansaray.
The club declined options on goalkeepers Josh Ford and Marcus Hahnemann, defenders Onyekachi Apam and Djimi Traore, forwards Tristan Bowen, Sean Okoli, Cam Weaver and Eriq Zavaleta. Additionally, defender Jalil Anibaba is out of contract. Only Traore saw significant action.
“In our league it’s a consistent challenge to keep successful teams together, and these types of decisions are always difficult,” said Sounders owner and GM Adrian Hanauer. “Having said that, conversations are ongoing with several players about their respective futures with our club.”
The current roster:
Goalkeepers (1): Stefan Frei.
Defenders (7): Leo Gonzalez, Damion Lowe, Chad Marshall, Jimmy Ockford, Dylan Remick, Zach Scott, DeAndre Yedlin.
Midfielders (9): Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Aaron Kovar, Lamar Neagle, Andy Rose, Micheal Azira, Marco Pappa, Gonzalo Pineda, Aaron Lon.
Forwards (6): Chad Barrett, Kenny Cooper, Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Kevin Parsemain, Victor Mansaray.