Sigi Schmid's job is safe. That was the crystal clear message from Seattle Sounders majority owner Joe Roth in a statement released by the club on Thursday.
"After a thorough evaluation, there is no question that Sigi Schmid is the right man to lead our club," Roth said. "While we are not happy with the way we finished, Sigi's resume and accomplishments speak for themselves."
The two-time MLS Coach of the Year's job security had been thrown into uncertainty after the Sounders flamed out of the playoffs in the Western Conference Semifinals, where they were ousted by archrival Portland Timbers 5-3 on aggregate. It was the culmination of a horrid end to the 2013 season in which Seattle finished winless in their last seven regular-season matches.
Schmid is still one of the most successful coaches in MLS history. His 187 career regular-season victories ranks tops among all MLS coaches, while his 74 league wins over five seasons in Seattle is second only to Bruce Arena over that time.
As the only coach the Sounders have known in their five-year MLS history, Schmid led the Rave Green to the playoffs each season and coached them to three consecutive US Open Cup titles from 2009-11.
His only shortcoming in Seattle, it would seem, is failing to lead the Sounders to the MLS Cup final despite consistently having among the most talented rosters in the league.
On Monday, Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer told reporters in a 40-minute conference call that the club would take its time to make a decision on Schmid's future to avoid reacting out of the emotions of another playoff ouster. By Thursday, apparently, Schmid's reputation and accomplishments won out.
"We have been to the playoffs five straight years, one of just three teams to have done that," Roth continued in the statement. "Once you make the tournament, you give yourself a chance to win the MLS Cup.
"Sigi has won two MLS Cups and it won't be long before he does it here in Seattle. We continue to strive for excellence and we will do everything we can and give him all the resources possible to make that a reality."