The Worst Kept Secret is True …

When Sigi leaving Columbus, does he have to give back the scarf?

When Sigi leaving Columbus, does he have to give back the scarf?

Ed here. …

… Sigi Schmid will not return to the Columbus Crew, after leading the club to its first MLS Cup victory in 2008.

The news is being reported by ESPNNews, courtesy Allen Hopkins, and is available on Soccernet.

It’s not a surprise, I suppose, except that for some odd reason to me, it is. It has been long rumored and discussed that Sigi the Scarf (does he get to keep the scarf?) wouldn’t return in 2009, with Seattle his most likely destination. And if he wants to be on the west coast, then you can’t blame him. I guess in some ways it just doesn’t make sense to me.

But the questions left for me are, did the Crew make an attempt to keep him? Had they put enough money on the table, could they have made Sigi change his mind about wanting to stay (assuming his wanting to leave is the reason he’s leaving)?

I guess it’s safe to think that this move was engineered by the Scarf. But I do kind of wonder if there was anything (read: money) the Crew could have done to head it off at the pass. And if they could, would they have? How much is a coach worth in MLS from a salary standpoint, if you have one that can get you to the league championship (with a bunch of help from Guillermo Barros Schelotto)?

I don’t have the answers. I’m just thinking aloud.

Schelotto is coming back in 2009, so I don’t think the Crew are going to fall off the face of the league next season, even if they lose a couple more players along the way like Rogers and Marshall. I don’t think they will dominate the East and win the Shield like they did this season, but it might be foolish to count them out completely.

But in some small, minuscule way, as much as is possible for a DC fan – I almost feel sorry for the Crew. They finally turned the corner, won the Cup, got it done. …

… And in the near future, they may resemble the 1998 Florida Marlins instead of a real contender. OK, they won’t be that bad with GBS in the fold … but if you are someone else in the Eastern Conference, you can’t be complaining too much right about now.

PS: It makes me wonder also about GBS finishing his deal before this news was finalized. Surely, he knew the Scarf was gone, right? Right?

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5 thoughts on “The Worst Kept Secret is True …

  1. You could have offered Sigi free Schmidt’s (Aaron should know what I refer to) for life and he wouldn’t have re-signed. I’m sad to see him go but thats the breaks. The interesting thing is that he had a clause in his contract that could prevent him from coaching in 2009 with another team and Columbus has filed tampering charges against Seattle.

  2. I doubt that the clause in the contract will hold up in court. Employers often put non-competion clauses into contracts that have not stopped departing employees from going to a competitor. I think there are rules against preventing a departing employee from being gainfully employeed. But I’m not an attorney, so my opinion is probably worthless.

  3. As for the Sounders, they’re putting together a nice little team:

    Coach: Sigi Schmidt (winner of 2 MLS Cups).

    GK: Kasey Keller (one of the best soccer players the US has ever produced).

    Defense: Parke and Sturgis, two solid MLS defenders. The Sounders could use a really solid center back to anchor their defense, but Parke and Sturgis will start if they’re not traded.

    Midfield: Ljungberg, Vagenas, and Evans are a good start. Smith is decent and a physical presence with good speed. They can improve off him, but he’s not a sub.

    Forwards: Le Toux, Jaqua, and an up and comer in Nyassi.

    It’s certainly not the worst expansion team thrown together. They’re lucky to play in the Western Conference.

  4. Parke may be hard to keep. He finishes his contract this year and will either be expensive or move to a small club in europe. Defense will likely be their weak point, but Sigi tends to find ways to make decent defensive teams. It will be curious how quickly the Seattle front office wants to come out of the blocks or if they (like Columbus was) are willing to be patient for a couple of seasons.

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