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Originally published Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Sounders FC hire Brian Schmetzer as top assistant

Brian Schmetzer, former coach of the United Soccer Leagues Sounders and a soccer fixture in the Puget Sound area, was named top assistant on Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid's staff Monday.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid began putting together his coaching staff Monday with the hiring of Brian Schmetzer as his top assistant.

Schmetzer, head coach of the United Soccer Leagues Sounders until the team disbanded after this past season, joins Sounders FC after seven seasons with the USL Sounders. He guided Seattle to USL First Division championships in 2005 and 2007.

Schmetzer had been promised a position with Sounders FC in some capacity after the USL Sounders terminated operations. He was a candidate for head coach until Seattle hired Schmid last week.

Schmid said last Tuesday that he planned to talk to Schmetzer about a place for him on his staff. Schmetzer, 46, is a Seattle native and Nathan Hale High School graduate. He had record of 100-54-44 as USL Sounders coach after a playing career that spanned 15 seasons.

"I love this city and I couldn't have scripted a more perfect career path," Schmetzer said in a statement from the club. "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."

Schmetzer has been helping Sounders FC with scouting and evaluating USL players. He said last week that he hopes his knowledge of and input regarding the players from his former team will help get a few of them a shot to make the Sounders FC roster.

"I'm excited to work with Brian," Schmid said. "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."

Note

• Midfielder Freddie Ljungberg has begun rehabilitation on his surgically repaired hip.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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