We start tonight with the "Seattle Process." Which in general, is akin to the speed of a slug.
This apparently can also be applied to contract negotiations between the Sounders and their current head coach, Brian Schmetzer.
If you’ve missed it, Schmetzer’s current deal is set to expire at the end of this season. And while an extension is very much expected, it’s still worth asking the question, “What are we waiting for?” After all, Schmetzer now holds the highest winning percentage in the playoffs than any head coach in Major League Soccer history. He’s led Seattle to both its titles in 4 ½ years, and they’re still in the running to win a third this season.
I would be shocked if a new agreement wasn’t reached. But if this year has taught me anything, making assumptions isn’t the way to go.
And simply assuming that Schmetzer will be back, just because he’s born and bred in the Pacific Northwest, and because his name is synonymous with the Sounders organization, could be a dangerous tact. This new contract needs to be reflective of the incredible success he’s had, rather than relying on any hometown discount because of where he’s from.
Schmetzer is deserving of being the highest-paid coach in the league. And even though it’s not the best time to be asking for a raise in any profession, there’s no doubt in my mind that there would be a team out therewilling to pay market value if he ended up walking away.
If anyone would understand that, it’s two of the newer members of the ownership group, who have become synonymous with Seattle Sports. At $35 million a year, Russell Wilson’s hardly playing for peanuts for the Seahawks. And even Ken Griffey Junior spent a number of years away after basically forcing the Mariners to trade him away.
When you have that special person – athlete or coach - it transcends circumstance. Sigi Schmid was a Hall of Fame coach – he had talent on his teams too – but he still never won a title in Seattle. Schmetzer already has two – and he’s working on more.
Right now, the Sounders are three wins away from another championship. With each playoff win, it’s my opinion that Schmetzer’s price tag goes up. Win a third title, and someone should offer him a blank check. It would behoove this organization to get an extension done now – and not tomorrow and not after this season is done. Don’t let other suitors come calling – don’t give him a single thought about entertaining a different deal.
We’ve said it before, but Brian Schmetzer is the best story out there – the hometown kid who coaches his hometown team and wins multiple titles.
There's no reason to believe the Sounders don't want him back or that he doesn't want to stay. Therefore, there’s no reason to hesitate. Sign pen to paper and give us some certainty to what’s expected to be inevitable.