By now everyone has read or heard about IVES GALARCEP'S REPORT that Crew Head Coach Sigi Schmid is "on the verge" of signing a contract with Seattle FC.
He cites the ever-popular "sources within MLS", one of those slippery slope sources that has provided him - and others - with water cooler gossip passing as inside info in the past.
That's not to say that it isn't true. Only that I doubt if they actually know much more than you or I about this. Negotiating a coach's contract is strictly an internal team thing. The league is in no way involved.
Occasionally standing next to Garber or Abbott or Courtemanche at a urinal is not really the same thing as being in a position to know stuff, and frankly I question how much either of them know either.
The league's only role in this particular case is to investigate the tampering charge which the Crew has filed against Seattle FC.
Otherwise, we have SHAWN MITCHELL'S PIECE TODAY to thank for the crew point of view:
Crew GM Mark McCullers says that they "have a significant offer on the table for him and it is within the parameters that he established with us."
Clark Hunt says that "in general, we’ve agreed on the financial parameters under which he would come back. This week he has a lot of things going on from a family standpoint. He wanted until after Thanksgiving to think about it. We’ll revisit it next week."
All of which means just about Jack Squat of course, but at least he's using actual quotes from actual people, not anonymous MLS wannabe blabs.
If you had to make a guess, the smart money would be on Seattle as the Round Mound's next gig. With the guys up there throwing money around like mad and Sigi being a 55 year old guy who is staring dead into the barrel of senior citizenship, a two million dollar deal could certainly buy a big sack full of bonds (or whatever the hell you do with money you'd sort of like to hang on to these days; if you happen to know, could you PM me? Thanks.).
Plus, as is often noted, he would be much closer to his family, the grandchildren, etc. which is a big deal, no doubt.
BUT (you knew that was coming, didn't you) I'm not totally convinced, and here's why:
When Schmid came to Columbus, one of the things he demanded - and got - from the management was total, absolute, 100% control over his roster. The Crew is entirely his team, down to the last man.
He has said many times that the biggest problem he had in LA was that he was constantly fighting with Doug Hamilton (AKA St. Douglas of Carson) over player acquisitions, draft picks, etc., and that he would never allow himself to be in that position again.
Well, welcome to Seattle, a team which is off and running; signing players right and left, even inking a DP Sigi had nothing whatever to say about, and now about to roster 10 guys in the expansion draft.
And I'll go one step further; I'm sure Chris Henderson and the guys who ran Seattle Sounders are all first rate soccer men, but tell me: if you trying to assemble an MLS championship caliber team who would you have do it: Chris Henderson or Sigi Schmid?
Bottom line, the majority of his team will already be in place by next Monday, which is the soonest he can start working for Seattle. Right now, today, Sigi is still under contract to HSG, and while I've never seen the document I'm willing to go out on a limb and suggest that it specifically proibits working for another MLS team - in any capacity - during the life of the contract.
So my question is whether Sigi, who has steadfastly insisted on complete control, will sign a deal with a bunch of guys who've made it clear they intend to be very active in player aquisitions, trades and drafting?
If he does - and I strongly suspect that Ive's "anonymous sources" are correct this time, even if it's by accident - then it will be because he's taking a pass on one of his own bedrock principles in order to pad his retirement account.
I can't blame him for that I guess; I'm not the one who's going to have to do his grocery shopping when he's 80 years old.
I guess though that one has to wonder: what's the point of hiring Cezanne to paint you a picture and then handing him a roller?