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?