David Hollingsworth- Sack Him
There is no denying that Sigi has been a winning coach. In fact, he is one of the most winningest coaches in MLS. But despite the most recent success run in 2014, where we nabbed not only the U.S. Open Cup but the Supporters’ Shield (and failed yet again to secure the MLS Cup), the 2015 season and the 2016 season so far have provided reason enough to let Sigi go. The only reason that I have been this patient is that last year we had a slew of injuries, including Roman Torres, Brad Evans, Ozzie Alonso, and Oba (man, I miss Oba). We also had a few players off the field for some poor decisions, Marco Pappa for his DUI and Clint Dempsey for his lovely notebook incident (I still don’t think this was a poor decision, it was hilarious and made for good memories). But there have not been those reasons this season. I think it is fairly safe to say that any other club would have at least considered the possibility of releasing Sigi at this point, but so far they have not only renewed his contract but taken a firm line on Sigi not going anywhere. The last match against NYCFC was the tipping point. Sure, we don’t have Clint Dempsey there, but we have the talent nonetheless. Veterans Ty Mears, Andreas Ivanschitz, Ozzie Alonso, Brad Evans, Erik Friberg, Nelson Valdez, and Stefan Frei all started. Jordan Morris is a young kid, but he knows how to use his minutes, as should the rest of the field. That needed to be a win, but it turned into a 2-0 loss because the team that was on the field didn’t show up. That is on Sigi. In soccer coach turnover is high, and that is because if you don’t meet your goal, you didn’t earn your pay check. Sigi stopped earning his paycheck when he proved unable to secure the MLS Cup.
There are plenty of top tier managers available, my top three choices being Rudi Garcia (AS Roma) Luis van Gaal (Man. Utd.) and Roberto Martinez (Everton). I doubt that the Sounders have that kind of scratch to put towards a legitimate offer, but none of these guys have jobs, and there are plenty more options out there. Maybe Sigi is too important to the SSFC Front Offices brand identity, but in any other club, he would’ve been out the door in 2014. And beyond that, if MLS has dreams of growing, it needs to strengthen its coaching core. It has to become a league that draws in the big name players as well as the big name coaches.