We spoke to coach Sigi Schmid after training today about the announcement that he has signed a contract extension that could keep him around until 2015.
On contract extension) "Excited. Excited and really happy. I'm proud that the ownership felt it was something they wanted to do. I love Seattle. I love coaching here and I love being here. So to be able to know that I can continue here is tremendous."
On his future after this contract) "Well, you got a guy coming in on Wednesday who's certainly been doing it for a long time at Man. United. I think the average life of a coach is like a year and three months or something at a franchise, so anytime you get beyond that you throw a big party for yourself and move on. When I went to the Galaxy I thought I'd be there forever and when I went to Columbus I thought I'd be there forever. Coming here I've felt the same. I always feel that way. Coaching is what I love to do. Somebody told me once, I asked him what he was doing, he was like 71, and he told me he was still working at his job. I go, 'Shouldn't you be retired by now,' and he goes, 'They tell in retirement you're supposed to do what you enjoy, so I'm doing what I enjoy.' So I'm in retirement now. I enjoy what I'm doing."
On whether there were doubts about staying) "We've had ongoing talks and our relationship is good. I think what makes it a very good relationship is there's a lot of trust in the relationship. It's not something where I came into the season with the last of the guaranteed years and said, 'Hey, hey, can we hammer this out? Can we talk about this?' It was like, it'll get done when it gets done and it'll run its course when it runs its course. I was always confident of the job I was doing. I was confident of what they felt about it. Being able to stay is tremendous."
If there was ever a time when you thought you were coaching for your job ... if you ever felt you were coaching for your job) "I coach for my job everyday. Again, as a coach, just because you have a contract usually owners have a lot of money so if they don't like what you're doing they just say well we're going to take a loss here and you're gone. It maybe gives me a little bit of security but it really doesn't change how long I can hold onto the job. That's the way I look at it anyway because you have to perform everyday and you got to do your job everyday. As I said last night, it's a mix of always striving to add new players, but also understanding that you have to build a core at the same time. I think we've done a good job of it here and sometimes you get into those discussions where, 'We need to add something,' and this guys says, 'No, we need to stand pat with what we have because it's starting to grow, it's starting to build right now.' Those are the type of team-building discussion you get into, but they're good and I think we've chosen the right path so far."
On the Sounders job comparing to expectations) "Exceeded 'em. Exceeded 'em by a ton. I was just talking to Chris and I was saying, 'For me everyday coming to work here is like a dream.' I'm living a dream. It's a situation where the fans have been phenomenal, they keep coming in support of the organization and the club. The atmosphere and the city. You guys coming out everyday and talking about this team, reporting on the club. There's no city in the United States that I think can compare on the soccer side of it. L.A. draws well and they've certainly got the Hollywood glitz to their team and they get people out there and they get reporters out there, but they don't get 36,000 a game. Toronto doesn't get this. New York doesn't get this. To me, this is Soccer City USA. This is a franchise that everyone's trying to emulate right now."
We also asked veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller what makes Schmid an effective coach:
"He’s been around the game a long time in this country, he does his homework he works extremely hard, he knows everybody in the league, he knows everybody in other leagues," Keller said. "He’s been successful in this league, he’s been successful with the youth national team and things of that nature. He’s one of the guys who has been in the game as long as I’ve been in the game and has national titles and championships in this league, so he’s obviously a guy they felt could come in and bring some stability right off the bat, and he’s proven that."