Longtime USL Sounders’ head coach Brian Schmetzer will be Sigi Schmid’s first assistant with Seattle Sounders FC, the club announced this afternoon.
No big surprise — there are some telling quotes on the topic a few blog posts down — but probably good news for a lot of Sounders fans, and certainly for Schmetzer.
Here’s the FC news release:
Brian Schmetzer has been named the top assistant coach for the Seattle Sounders FC staff, head coach Sigi Schmid announced today.
Schmetzer, 46, joins Sounders FC following seven seasons as the head coach of the Sounders’ United Soccer Leagues First Division club. He guided Seattle to USL-1 championships in 2005 and 2007, and U.S. Open Cup semifinal advancements in 2007 and 2008.
"I’m excited to work with Brian," said Schmid, who became head coach Dec. 16. "He brings great knowledge of the Seattle area, the history of the USL-1 Sounders, and a wealth of coaching experience. That, coupled with his past playing experience, makes him the ideal assistant coach."
Schmetzer has nine years of experience coaching and 15 years of playing at the professional level. He was a member of six championship teams during that span.
"Having been born and raised in Seattle, and having lived most of my life here, I love this city and I couldn’t have scripted a more perfect career path," said Schmetzer. "I feel lucky, first to have been chosen to coach the USL Sounders, then to be considered along with Sigi and some other outstanding candidates for the MLS head coaching job. Now, I’m working with a great coach in Sigi, in my home city for what is rapidly becoming the best club in the business. It seems everything is falling into place."
As coach of the USL-1 Sounders from 2002-07, Schmetzer’s teams also twice won the Commissioner’s Cup for the league’s best record and qualified for the playoffs six of seven years. He was chosen USL-1 Coach of the Year in 2002 after going 23-1-4. The Sounders were league runners-up in 2004. His overall regular season record was 100-54-44.
Previously, he had served two seasons (1996-97) as an assistant coach for the Seattle SeaDogs, winning the Continental Indoor Soccer League title with Seattle in 1997.
"Having worked with Brian for seven years, I can’t imagine a better representative of what Sounders soccer means," said general manager Adrian Hanauer. "He has a combination of passion, competitiveness, experience and a mind for the game. I have never met anyone who hates losing as much as Brian, and that mentality has consistently driven his teams to succeed. I couldn’t be happier that he’s going to continue having a key role for Sounders FC."
A Seattle native, Schmetzer signed with the Sounders’ North American Soccer League franchise following his graduation from Nathan Hale High School in 1980. He played three seasons as a midfielder for Seattle before going to Tulsa for the final NASL season in 1984.
Schmetzer signed with the San Diego Sockers in 1984 and played seven seasons in the Major Indoor Soccer League with San Diego (1984-88), Tacoma (1988-90) and St. Louis (1990-91). He was a member of the Sockers’ MISL championship teams in 1985, 1986 and 1988. He returned to Seattle for the Sounders’ inaugural A-League season in 1994 before completing his playing career with the SeaDogs from 1995-96.
In 1985, Schmetzer played on loan to FC Seattle, scoring twice in a 2-1 friendly win over Brazil’s Santos. While with Tacoma and FC Seattle, Schmetzer’s teammates included younger brothers Andy and Walter.
Sounders FC will open training camp January 21. The Major League Soccer season opener is March 19 against the New York Red Bulls at Qwest Field.