One thing is certain, the Seattle Sounders have either not reached a decision on the coaching future of Sigi Schmid or they are not letting the public know for a while. That reads as something uncertain. There's a reason for that. In today's conference call with mainly local media (one national writer joined in) Adrian Hanauer was long on words, but short on specifics. That might be because this season is what Adrian called one of the most disappointing in his 12 years with the Sounders.
"Clearly this was a very frustrating season for all of us in the organization-our fans," he opened. "Probably the most frustrating of the five years that I've been with the club, maybe the most frustrating in the 12 years I've been with the Sounders."
The future of Sigi Schmid and his relationship with Seattle Sounders FC is still up in the air. It is a decision that Hanauer says he and controlling owner Joe Roth will make over the next few weeks.
"We're going to go through that process. We're going through that process as of now. There are a lot of big decisions that ownership has to make over this offseason. We will take our time, be methodical, be rational, not make emotional decisions based on the pain and frustration of losing a playoff series like we did to Portland," Hanauer explained. "That process will take place over the next couple-three weeks. We're not in any massive hurry to make quick decisions."
He, Roth and Sigi will meet later this week and discuss the season. Not just the results, but the process that took place and what the identity of the club is. One of the things Adrian emphasized is that he wants Sigi to feel supported and Sigi to support the direction of the organization. Those things must be mutual.
"This isn't his first rodeo and he wants to be somewhere where he's fully appreciated and supported. I want a coach in place that's full appreciated and supported," he said.
But Adrian also does not think that the blame goes just to Sigi for the disappointment. He even said he was a bit surprised at the lack of blame towards the General Manager.
"I'm the general manager and ultimately it's my organization," Adrian said, "so I don't see that many fingers pointed at me, which, to be honest, kind of frustrates me. I think to myself, I have as much to do with this as Sigi, as Chris [Henderson], as the rest of the coaches, as the support staff, as the players. I know how complicated it is to have a successful organization and win championships."
And what did he get wrong? He answered that as well.
He felt the locker room was not the best it has been. There were several reasons, some controllable and some less so. He thinks that will get better next year and sees Dempsey, Alonso and Evans as the core leadership of the squad.
"I think that it's highly likely that Clint [Dempsey] along with Ozzie [Alonso] and Brad [Evans] form a triumvirate of leaders on the team going forward."
He regretted in not getting Obafemi Martins a break in the middle of the year and the last-minute nature of the roster. The inability of Shalrie Joseph to contribute as planned was another failure.
Most of all Hanauer, asked unanswered questions. Not just the slightly comedic interlude when he gave the team a B- on the year and asked if anyone would give them an F or an A, but the entirety was a snapshot into the questions he, Roth and maybe Sigi will be asking over the next several months.
"Again, that's on me to go back and think through what I could have done differently throughout the year. Did I make the right transactions? Did we make too many transactions? Did we not make enough transactions? Were there opportunities that we missed?"
That's just one example. Adrian offered as many questions as he did answers. He explained the process in discovering those answers - rational and methodical.
Player options will need to be picked up by December 1st. But that is the only hard deadline offered. The rest of the statement was about decision point in the future. Those decisions will be made collaboratively and behind closed doors.