Sounders majority owner Joe Roth and minority owner/general manager Adrian Hanauer just took part in a 25-minute conference call regarding the club's morning announcement that it would retain Sigi Schmid as coach.
Schmid did not take part in the conference call and isn't scheduled yet scheduled to meet with the media. Asked about that Roth said it is because the purpose of the call was for ownership to support Schmid, not for Schmid to defend himself.
I'll be back with direct quotes and eventually full transcript. However, jere was Roth's basic overview to the basic opening quesiton:
"I sat down with Adrian and Sigi on Tuesday down here in Los Angeles for two hours," he said. "We kind of talked through anything. Anybody who has a business that’s kicking ass Oct. 1 and out of business Nov. 1, if they’re not worried about it they’re in this themselves. I was horrified by the late-season slide. I felt like it started in the 1-1 tie with the Red Bulls game, frankly, a game we should have won. And then it just seemed like we were on our heels the rest of the way. As a sports fan and a fanatic Sounders fan and an owner and a businessman, I was terrified of that slide – particularly because the previous 22 games we had gotten 47 points. I mean, if we stunk, we stunk; but this was totally unexpected. So I think the job that Adrian and I have in front of us is to evaluate every single piece of the team: coach, coaches, medical staff, players, ballboys, you name it. I just wanted to hear from Sigi and at the same time have him hear what my expectations of the team are."
And his answer to a follow-up on what led to the decision to keep Schmid:
I think Sigi is a great coach," Roth said. "I’ve been down here in LA and I watched him coach at UCLA for a long time and at the Galaxy at Columbus, and we want out of our way to try to bring him to Seattle. The five years he’s been here with an expansion team, he’s made the playoffs all five years. We just haven’t had a slide like that, and it was so shocking and discouraging that I thought we all needed to talk about it. Nobody’s won more MLS games than Sigi – he’s a great coach – we just wanted to get some understanding about it and make sure that we can do the steps – whatever they are – whether they’re in training, in the locker room, or whatever to make sure this thing doesn’t happen again.
Before, more highlights from Roth:
* He said he doesn't believe the public nature of this decision in any way weakens Schmid with the players.
* He said this process helped clarify what might trigger a coaching change for the Sounders organization, which of course has never made a coaching change: lack of results and lack of character.
And from Hanauer:
* The club expects Schmid's staff to remain as well.
* Asked about rumors/reports the club is shopping Eddie Johnson, he said this is the time of year when transactions are made and lots of rumors and reports fly.