Halfway Home

For some reason, a lot of us enjoy laughing at old jokes. Jokes where we already know the punchline but we don't mind sitting through another telling to get to it.

In the case of the Seattle Sounders, the punchline is that Seattle seems to think they're hiring a coach who'll take them to the Cup.

No, really.

The fans out there - and Chris Henderson - don't seem to grasp the fact that hiring Sigi Schmid has a lot more to do with buzz and PR than actually, you know, winning something.

Which is the one thing I'm reasonably sure he won't do there.

First of all, Sigi's biggest problem in LA was not "unattractive soccer'; it was having to fight with Doug Hamilton over player acquisitions. When he moved to CBus he demanded, and got, total control over his roster and built a winner.

In Seattle three or four guys are assembling the team and Sigi only gets one vote.

(And just in case you had some doubts, let me reasssure you: no, Freddie Ljundburg is not Guillermo Barros Schelotto.)

Which leads me to ask: how many Cups have Joe Roth, Adrian Hanauer and Chris Henderson won? If you have Sigi, you let him do his thing. They aren't going to let him. They just want him to stick to the coaching while they handle the roster.

It's not a recipe for success, but fortunately Sigi will apparently be extremely well paid for whatever it is they allow him to do, and he's good with that. If he thought this was a long term job, he'd have some serious reservations, but that's the last thing this is.

Second, Sigi wanted to be closer to his family on the West Coast. It may have been the biggest factor in this move.

Well, like the man says, let's do the math:

Columbus to Manhattan Beach: 2272 mi.

Seattle to Manhattan beach 1147 mi.

Carson to Manhattan Beach: 10 miles.

Sigi is halfway home.

What Sigi Schmid really wants is the worst kept secret in American soccer:

He wants to tell Natalie to meet him for dinner, ring up Cafe Pierre and have them start a nice Chateaunuef du Pape breathing, drop the top on a '56 Roadmaster, peel out of the HDC, hop onto the 405 and crank up Tom Petty:

Hey, Baby; there ain't no easy way out........

There's only one job Sigi wants, and Bob Bradley has it. Temporarily.

But you could get pretty good odds that Bob will be looking for alternative employment before we sing Auld lang syne to 2010. Possibly a good deal before.

(And since USSF, in the person of Official Jack Warner Toadie Sunil Gulati, has cleverly decided to move the Mexico game on Feb 11 out of the one stadium in the US that El Tri dreads, it's just possible that Dos a cero may soon be nothing but a fond memory, in which case, so will Bob.)

Sigi wanted the US job, badly, when Bradley got it. He lobbied hard. The Crew was warming up Bobby Rifle the whole time Sunil Gulati was playing footsie with California Klinnsy. It was mostly his losing record with the Crew up until then which kept him from getting it.

(Tell me quick: wouldn't you rather have Sigi running that team right now? Wouldn't just about anybody beside Michael Bradley?)

Bottom line: at the most, Sigi is in Seattle for two years. If Bradley royally screws up and the US doesn't make the finals, it could be one and out.

Either way, Seattle is just a way station on the trip home. It's a long, long trip, but the bet here is that he gets there long before Seattle gets a chance to play for Uncle Phil's Cup.