They may have been on opposite sides on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium, but FC Dallas technical director Fernando Clavijo and Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer share a bond that outlasts any single match.
The two won multiple MISL titles together with the San Diego Sockers before Clavijo coached the Sounders head coach. Schmetzer would later join Clavijo's coaching staff in San Diego before departing for Seattle.
In an interview with SoccerAmerica.com, Clavijo recalls those times spent with Schmetzer and all the years since as they two rose up the ranks of North American soccer. This is before the two sat down together for lunch on Friday afternoon.
"When we played indoor, he was left back and I was right back, up and down," Clavjio explained. "He was physical, man, and because he played that way he was hurt a lot. He was brutal. But he was one of those guys who played every game like it was his final game."
Their two teams have met in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs each of the last two years, with Dallas getting the better of Seattle in penalty kicks in 2015 and Seattle beating the Supporters' Shield-winning Dallas in 2016 on their way to MLS Cup. In a perfect world for Clavijo, Schmetzer would have been working for him more recently than 1997.
"After we worked together in Seattle, I tried to get him to Colorado to be my assistant, I tried to get him to New England to be my assistant. He was running a business back home in Seattle, so it was bread and butter for him. So I was never able to attract him, but not because I didn’t want him."
You can read the full interview at SoccerAmerica.com.