The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
The Wash is David Falk’s take on the world of soccer in The WA.
I’ve got plenty of questions.
I am a Sigi Schmid skeptic, and have been since before the Sounders even played their first MLS match.
It didn’t have to start that way, but then the Sounders also didn’t have to start their life as an MLS side with a fine for tampering to get Sigi, did they? Though officially the club did not admit guilt, they none-the-less were fined and paid Columbus. Sort of a “I didn’t take $100 from you, but here’s $100 anyway” kind of deal. Third-party reports suggest Southern California owner Joe Roth was “proud” of getting Southern Californian Sigi Schmid, anyway they could. Does Roth believe in karma? Just a question.
Sigi Schmid (former UCLA, LA Galaxy head coach) impressed right out of the gate with a fine first season for the Sounders, steering the side to a US Open Cup Championship and the playoffs.
In year four the tally is now three US Open Cups, two straight elite eight appearances in the CONCACAF Champions League and four straight playoff appearances.
Yet still, I have questions.
Why have so few designated players blossomed during Schmid’s watch?
Why have so few young talents been developed along and into the starting eleven?
Why does he under-use (or misuse) the talent and depth that the front office stacks the roster with?
Why do the Sounders appear unready in playoff first legs, now having been outscored 7:0 in five opening matches over four years?
Why does Sigi appear to favor SoCal players (David Estrada) while letting locals (Lamar Neagle) go?
Can Joe Roth be trusted to pull the plug on Sigi as needed, considering they are life-long SoCal pals?
Are Sigi and his (Everett native) UCLA SoCal pal Technical Director Chris Henderson even on the same page when it comes to attacking talent? (Freddie Ljungberg, Blaise Nkufo, Alvaro Fernandez, Mario Martinez…)
Is Kurt Schmid a great “find” as a scouting coach, or just a relative getting a gig? Has he proven himself? What about playoff foe scouting? Can fans even question these sorts of hires?
Why do some players appear to be in some sort of “Sigi doghouse?”
Are the Sounders frustrating to watch in any way that Schmid can control?
Does Sigi “have the clubhouse” on his side?
Why has year four been the worst year for results with the best roster yet? (No USOC trophy, 6th in league, no Cascadia Cup, another playoff blowout, CONCACAF in jeopardy.)
Why do Jason Kreis, Dominic Kinnear and Bruce Arena succeed in the playoffs year after year?
Why don’t we hear from Sounders players how “great” it is to play for Sigi? It’s always “great to be in Seattle….great to be a Sounder…”
What is the relationship /communication level between Schmid and Fredy Montero?
How have Schmid’s roster choices / training methods affected player injuries?
Why are so many Sounders fans willing to accept this continual post-season nightmare without asking for change?
Are the Sounders better now than they were in 2009?
What’s Sigi best at tactically: attacking soccer or organizing a defense?
What is the current on-pitch trajectory of the side?
Does winning cure all ills? If Sigi is part of a miracle on November 18, does that mean he’s a great coach (again)?
What is Brian Schmetzer doing for, say, the next four years?