Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid’s name immediately attracts attention whenever the United States national team’s head coaching job comes open, as it did Thursday when U.S. Soccer announced the firing of Bob Bradley.
During a conference call from Houston, where the Sounders will return to MLS play Saturday against the Dynamo, Schmid was asked if he would be interested in the job.
“I think any coach in this country – especially anybody who’s coached in America for a long time – would have interest in coaching the national team,” he said. “That’s going to be a ‘Yes’ answer from any American coach that you ask. But at the end of the day, is it the right thing? Is it the right time? Where are you coming from? Where are you at? All that affects that ultimate decision. What I can tell you is I’m very happy where I’m at. I love the Sounders, I love Seattle, and I really like our team.”
Schmid said he has not spoken to anyone about the national team job.
He has twice served as head coach for the U.S. under-20 national team, most recently in 2005. And he was an assistant on the 1994 World Cup team under Bora Milutinovic. He has an MLS-record 149 career victories, 25 more than the runner-up, who happens to be Bradley.
“Coaching the national team is a difficult thing,” Schmid said. I don’t know what U.S. Soccer is (doing) with their thought process, what they’re looking at. Obviously, now they have some games coming up, they’ve got to put somebody in place.”
MANCHESTER UNITED FALLOUT
At the All-Star festivities this week, MLS commissioner Don Garber weighed in on the Sounders’ 7-0 loss to Manchester United on July 20. In that game, Seattle trailed 1-0 at half before clearing its bench and giving up six goals in the final 45 minutes.
“Our view is that if we’re going to play these games, we ought to play to win,” Garber told MLSsoccer.com. “And if a team can’t fit it into their schedule either because of congestion or their own priorities, then they shouldn’t play those games.”
Schmid and Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer had each said after the game that they would play the starters longer if they had it to do over again.
On Thursday, Schmid was asked about Garber’s comments.
“His job is to make sure that the league does well, and my job is to make sure that the team does well,” Schmid said.
Reserve goalkeeper Terry Boss is not with the team in Houston because he apparently suffered a concussion against Man U. Rookie Josh Ford will serve as the No. 2 keeper. The Sounders are holding morning practices in Houston this week, trying to avoid the worst of the mid-90s temperatures.
Don Ruiz, 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org twitter/donruiztnt blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer