Sigi Schmid will be sticking around for the foreseeable future. After leading the Seattle Sounders to the Supporters' Shield and to just the eighth double in MLS history, Schmid signed a multi-year contract extension it was announced today.
This is all quite a turnaround from a year ago when Schmid's future with the Sounders was very much in doubt. Following an end-of-season collapse in which the Sounders fell from the Supporters' Shield lead, won just one of their final 10 games and were taken apart by the Portland Timbers in the playoffs, there was rampant speculation that Schmid would be fired instead of being allowed to finish out the three-year extension he signed in 2011.
But after a meeting with owners Joe Roth and Adrian Hanauer, Schmid was allowed back. The decision paid off.
To his credit, Schmid was willing to change. He switched up the Sounders' training routine, brought in several new faces and even discarded the team's pregame prayer. The Sounders came back in 2014 a refreshed team, setting franchise records for goals (65) and points (64), while winning more games (20) than any other MLS team in the post-shootout era.
Schmid was already the second-longest tenured coach with a MLS team (Bruce Arena has been with the LA Galaxy since 2008) and this deal makes it likely he'll be here for at least another three years. Dominic Kinnear and Steve Nicol are the only coaches in MLS history to have stayed with one franchise for longer (Kinnear was with the Houston Dynamo for nine years and spent two more years with the San Jose Earthquakes before they moved, while Nicol was with the New England Revolution for parts of 10 seasons).
During his first six years, Schmid has led to the Sounders to five trophies -- as many as any other team during that time. Detractors will point out that the one trophy missing from the Sounders case is a MLS Cup. While it's true that the Sounders have gone 5-8-4 in the postseason and never advanced beyond the conference finals, they've also claimed more points (340) than any team other than the Galaxy since 2009.