The Sigi Schmid era in Seattle came to an end late last month after more than seven years at the helm. Schmid was the only head coach in Seattle’s MLS history but after a 6-12-2 start to the 2016 season, both the club and coach were in need of a change. So what’s next for one of the all-time greatest coaches that MLS has ever seen? At 63, he is starting to age a bit and some people have been suggesting Sigi should look for a front office role rather than coaching. Schmid cleared up the speculation in an interview last week when he confirmed that he is still interested in coaching and has no intensions of moving to the front office.
There really are two possible destinations that stick out as the clear front runners to land Sigi Schmid as their head coach. The first one is Atlanta United FC who will enter MLS as an expansion club in 2017. Sigi is no stranger to leading an expansion club as he did so in Seattle and with the way Arthur Blank and Carlos Bocanegra have begun to assemble this club, they will be looking for instant success in the league. Schmid and Bocanegra have a long history. The former US National Team captain played for Schmid during his college days at UCLA from 1997 to 1999, so we are talking about a 20 year relationship. Roberto Martinez was the rumored front runner for the position but after accepting the Belgium job, Sigi has stepped up as Atlanta United’s first choice manager. Talk about perfect timing.
The other strong possibility is that Sigi Schmid ends up as the first ever head coach of LAFC, who begin MLS play at the start of the 2018 season. Sigi is a native of Southern California so it is a region that he is completely comfortable in and would enjoy. It is still too early to tell what the identity of LAFC will be and the kind of manager they are going to look to bring in, but Schmid certainly seems like a potentially perfect fit. LAFC will likely splash the cash once they do start to build a roster and this would allow for Sigi to have flexibility with his roster choices, something every manager loves. Let’s be real, wouldn’t it be amazing to see Bruce Arena and Sigi Schmid, two godfathers of the MLS, going at it in a derby match?
Atlanta’s advantage in the pursuit of Sigi is that they begin MLS play before LAFC. They will have first dibs simply because they will be hiring a head coach long before LAFC. Is Sigi really going to turn down a potentially great offer in Atlanta so that he can maybe become the head coach of LAFC? LAFC’s advantage is the fact that Schmid has history in southern California and that is where his heart likely wants to be, but does he want to wait another year to get back into coaching? It will be interesting to see what Sigi Schmid ends up doing. Regardless of what happens, both clubs should be great opportunities where, if given the chance, Sigi Schmid will be able to build something special like he did in Seattle. There is one thing that is for certain, this man won’t be unemployed much longer.