BY Art Thiel 10:45PM 11/12/2015

Schmid returns; Hanauer Sounders’ No. 1 owner

Big news from the Sounders’ annual Alliance meeting Thursday night at the Paramount Theater: Adrian Hanauer is the new majority owner, supplanting Los Angeles movie mogul Joe Roth, and Sigi Schmid will be back as coach despite another disappointing end in the postseason.

Roth will continue as a minority owner. Hanauer has held multiple positions as he brought the Sounders to life as an MLS expansion team seven years ago.

“It is so painful not to win that elusive MLS Cup,” he told season ticket holders in attendance. “You have my assurance that we are doing everything humanly possible to do so . .  . There’s no one in our organization that doesn’t feel the pain.

“For sure, I would always have liked to have been the majority owner. Joe has been a fantastic owner, really benevolent. All that said, not much changes . . . I will continue to be as vigilant and devoted to this club as possible.”

In a question and answer session, Garth Lagerwey, who succeeded Hanauer as general manager before the past season, confirmed the return of Schmid, the club’s only MLS coach who watched as the Sounders faltered again in the Western Conference semifinals, this time to FC Dallas.

“Let me put something to bed: Sigi is our coach. Sigi will be our coach. Sigi is my coach,” Lagerway said to applause from the audience.

Schmid this year was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame and was voted the soccer coach of the century by the Pac-12 Conference for his success at UCLA.

The Alliance was created minority owner Drew Carey — who was present only by video — to give fans a direct voice in the decision-making process.


YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    Good to see the club support Sigi though I thought they should have made that announcement much sooner. I imagine the Alliance discussed whether or not to explore other options for head coach but ultimately if the biggest problem the club has is that they always fall short of getting to the MLS Cup then they have it pretty good. Could be worse, They could be Chivas.

    I wonder just how Roth going from majority to minority owner happened? Did he sell his shares? Or was this a power move by Adrian? Also wondering what kind of moves the club will be making in the off-season.

  • Kirkland

    It would not have surprises me if Lagerway fired Schmid and hired now-available Jason Kreis, given their great partnership in Salt Lake and concerns over Schmid’s tactics (he got toasted on the soccer boards on that Dallas loss) and recent health issue. I’m guessing guessing Lagerway didn’t do a Dipoto-McClendon because the mid-season faceplant was more to injuries and callups than questionable coaching.

    The big question: If the Sounders again don’t make MLS Cup next year, do the fans vote out Lagerway? I believe the GM position is up for vote after the season, and although he’s a “mid-term” replacement with a strong track record, will that natter to the fans/voters?

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    • art thiel

      I thought Kreis would have been brought in. But Sounders were missing three starters in the final match, any one of which could have been a difference-maker in a match so tight. The mess in summer was not Sigi’s doing, but he had to figure a way out; time was the only answer.

      Not sure Lagerwey in his first season wanted the Schmid notch on his belt.

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