Sounders assistant Schmetzer still waiting for a shot to be head coach
Seattle Times staff reporter
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TUKWILA — Major League Soccer teams have combined to make more than 50 coaching changes since Sounders FC joined the league in 2009, and assistant coach Brian Schmetzer has been in the mix on a couple.
One came when he interviewed with Montreal before the Impact’s entry to MLS in 2012, though the job ultimately went to Jesse Marsch. Another came this offseason when he interviewed with FC Dallas, but once again, Schmetzer was passed over, in favor of Oscar Pareja.
0 for 2.
So is the Seattle native, a former Coach of the Year and two-time champion with the lower-league Sounders, starting to get frustrated or impatient?
“No,” Schmetzer said heading into his sixth season as the Sounders’ top assistant. “I have a really good job. It’s a great organization. (Adrian Hanauer, general manager and part owner) has been a very, very, very good boss to me. ‘Impatient’ wouldn’t be the word I’d use.”
One reason to stay hopeful is the league’s growth, with commissioner Don Garber planning to add five franchises by 2020. New York City FC and Orlando City already have coaches in place before arriving next year, but “there are going to be teams and there are going to be opportunities,” Schmetzer said. “I was just always looking for the right one.”
Dallas had looked to be a perfect fit. Schmetzer has a longstanding relationship with technical director Fernando Clavijo and star defender George John, a Shoreline native. The turnstile-like state of coaching security in MLS, though, indicates there will be more possibilities to come.
Said Schmetzer: “I can afford to be selective.”
Caskey traded to D.C.
The Sounders have traded Alex Caskey to D.C. United for a third-round draft pick in 2016. The departure was expected after the versatile midfielder wasn’t at practice Monday.
Caskey, 25, played 30 games the past two seasons in Seattle, recording one goal and four assists. A competitive battle for roster spots in midfield played into the move, according to coach Sigi Schmid.
“We were going to have to make some decisions and probably cut somebody or waive somebody, so for him it’s a good opportunity and for us it gives us an opportunity with a draft pick down the line,” Schmid said.
• All indications are the U.S. men’s national team will play against Ukraine in Cyprus on Wednesday despite reports out of Ukraine that the game was canceled. So what does Schmid want to see from Clint Dempsey before his return to the Sounders? “Don’t get hurt,” the coach said with a laugh. “That’s all I want to see.”
• A referee work stoppage is in danger of affecting opening weekend, according to reports from The Washington Post and ESPN.com. Commissioner Don Garber said in a Q&A with fans and media Tuesday that the league has a contingency plans in place.