Many were sceptical about the appointment of Brain Schmetzer as a replacement for Sigi Schmid.
Regarded as one of the greatest coaches in the MLS,Schmid will always be a hard man to replace. However, Schmetzer seems to be doing a fine job so far. Since taking over the club in August 2016, he was under a lot of pressure to deliver instant success, and this was in the form of qualifying for the MLS Cup play-offs and potentially winning the title. He seems to have done everything asked of the team and the club’s recent form has been a major factor in Seattle Sounders sneaking in at the last moment.
Schmetzer says that the team were in a very difficult situation when he took over, and that they needed to win all of their matches in order to stand any chance of qualifying for the play-offs. However, it is exactly what the team did as they failed to win only two games since the middle of September. They also suffered only one defeat – against FC Dallas – during this period.
As a result, they have just made it to the play-offs while they will face, ironically, FC Dallas in a two-legged game. Since Schmetzer took over, the team has suffered only two defeats in all competitions.
“We’ve been one-game-at-a-time, must-win games for 14 games now. We’ve had to win almost every single game. That mentality is ingrained in the players. It’s not going to change. OK, yes, there’s more at stake, because you know there’s now 15th game. It’s done for one team or the other tomorrow night.Is the team handling the pressure? Are we going all of the details? Yes. Do we learn things every day. If we stopped learning, then we would just be stagnant and wouldn’t be better people,” said Schmetzer.