In seeing today’s news that the club parted ways with Sigi Schmid, our only coach in the MLS era, our collective feelings are a mixture of optimism and nostalgia. Sigi’s legacy here will always be how he turned an expansion team into a permanent, above-typical power in MLS, under the pressure of demanding Sounders supporters. It’s no secret the Sounders have been an ambitious club propped up and supported both home and away by a very ambitious fan base. During his tenure here in Seattle, Sigi had managed to live up to those expectations, however.
Sure, the news of Sigi’s departure is still fresh off the presses, but one cannot avoid thinking of the amazingly positive and good times we have had with him at the helm. We always can point to the 2014 Supporters’ Shield, four USOC trophies, Cascadia Cups and multiple winning seasons. Don’t forget some of the smaller, yet important achievements and records broken in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Remember vividly when Sigi, in an interview, claimed that the Cascadia Cup belonged to the fans. This was at the same time that MLS was trying to pry it from the hands of supporters that were the very same ones that created the Cup. Sigi understood it. Sigi understood supporter culture and made sure the players that played for him understood it as well. We should never forget that.
Remember the post-match interview after the thrashing of our rivals to the South. In this match we had made an inspirational tifo that is still regarded as one of the all-time best in MLS. Sigi’s emotional press conference after that match showed just how much he wanted to bring the MLS Cup to Seattle. After all, in his own words, coaching the Sounders was a dream come true. Soccer in Seattle is the way all “old school” soccer folks always dreamed it would be.
We salute you, Sigi, for your love of this team and its fans.
This move from our club is also a courageous one. There are all sorts of theories about how dangerous a mid-season coaching change can be in MLS, when it comes to the fate of the season. We are pleased to see the team recognize the challenges of this season and be willing to make a change. Whether you agree with it or not, this was a pivotal move for the club, bringing in a new era. Let’s embrace this change with optimism, because we always believe that the best days for our beloved club are ahead of us.
We don’t just sing songs for anyone. We don’t just do tifo for anyone. We express our utmost gratitude towards a coach that has allowed ECS and fellow supporters to share amazing memories with each other, home or away. The foundation of soccer culture that was laid here in Seattle owes much to Sigi’s winning ways. It will serve our club for decades to come as it pushes to become a top echelon club in the world.
Thank you, Sigi.
Everyone reading this for one last time, join us in bidding farewell to the Sounders coaching legend: Sigi Sigi Sigi, Oi! Oi! Oi!
Up the Sounders, Up the ECS.
ECS Past President
Let's thank Sigi in person
On Thursday, July 28, we're going to gather together where it all started, Fuel Sports Bar, to celebrate our time with Sigi Schmid leading our beloved club on the field. Please join ECS in thanking Sigi, in person, starting at 6PM.
You can RSVP here for the event. Bring your memories, handshakes, and well-wishes this Thursday night, they'll be appreciated. If you're looking for an opportunity to take anyone to task, this isn't the time to do so. We look forward to seeing you there.
Heather Satterberg & Tom Biro