Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sigi in Seattle

Sigi Schmid was officially presented as the Seattle Sounders head coach on Tuesday. One of the main non-soccer reasons he chose Seattle was his family ties to the area. His brother Roland lives in Seattle and Schmid had a son who attended the University of Washington.

As far as the footballing aspect, it will be really interesting to see how Seattle enters 2009. The expansion club will have problems as all recent expansion teams have had early on but Schmid is, in my opinion, the best coach in MLS history. He's won two MLS Cups and another coach with a similar resume helped turn things around quickly in his expansion season. Frank Yallop guided San Jose to... okay, last place, but the team was in a much better position during the second half of the season than it was from April through June.

Schmid has more to work with at the start of the season than Yallop did - Darren Huckerby didn't get there until the summer - and Schmid has yet another expansion team to look at and see what went right and wrong for them and try to avoid doing the same mistakes.

Whatever happens in 2009, one thing is certain - if Schmid and Yallop stick around, the Western Conference will be quite strong as the pair plus Dominic Kinnear will head three formidable teams. Bruce Arena, of course, is also out here so the soccer minds running their respective teams are strong. The only thing with Arena is the volatility of the situation with the Galaxy but if he can stabilize things, this conference could potentially have some great and proven MLS coaches pulling the strings out here for years to come.

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