BY SPNW Staff 08:49PM 11/02/2016

Sounders make Brian Schmetzer the man

The biggest single-season turnaround in in MLS history has inspired the Sounders to make interim coach Brian Schmetzer the head man.

Brian Schmetzer is the Sounders’ new head coach. / Charis Wilson, Seattle Sounders FC

The long shot who made an even longer shot, the Seattle Sounders, a hot playoff team, was rewarded Wednesday night. At the club’s annual public business meeting at the Clink, Brian Schmetzer was named the MLS Sounders second head coach, succeeding the man who hired him, Sigi Schmid.

“I am grateful for the opportunities that I’ve received here as a player, a coach in the club’s USL era, and now as head coach of the MLS team,” Schmetzer said in a club release. “I believe in the fact that for our players, this is their team, and they have responded by taking complete ownership of the season and driving us into the playoffs.

“I give them full credit for that, but our work isn’t finished yet. My goal is to make sure we can all enjoy this ride a little longer deep into the postseason.”

Schmetzer had been interim head coach since July 26, when Schmid was fired after the Sounders’ slowest start in their MLS history, 6-12-2. Bolstered by the addition of designated player Nicolas Lodeiro, the Sounders finished regular season with an 8-2-4 run, securing the No. 4 seed on the final day with a win over Real Salt Lake after being in ninth place as late as Sept. 10.

It was the first of three victories in eight days that gives Seattle a good shot at reaching the Western Conference finals. After a knockout-round win over Kansas City, the team that beat Seattle twice in the regular season, the Sounders Sunday defeated No. 1 seed Dallas 3-0 in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals home-and home series.

“His connection to this city and club goes back decades, long before I hired him to manage the USL Sounders in 2002,” club owner Adrian Hanauer said. “He has always been an incredible steward of the organization and ambassador for our club in the community, and what he and the team have accomplished on the field over the past three months is worthy of recognition.”

Schmetzer, 54, led the biggest turnaround in league history. Seattle became the first team in league history to make the postseason after recording 20 or fewer points through the first 20 matches of the season.

 

 


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YourThoughts

  • Kirkland

    Lot of similarities with Steve Fisher and Michigan basketball in 1989 — so far.

  • http://cheezburger.com Scott Moore

    Great decision. If ever any “interim” coach or other executive deserved the promotion to permanent, it’s Schmetzer. The team looked dead for the season when he took over. He’s got them believing and winning even without their best player, Clint Dempsey. Congratulations to Coach Schmetzer and the Sounders. Keep up the good work and “We love you sounders, Hey, Ho, Sounders we love you.”

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