Sigi Schmid: Only winning MLS Cup 'defines success' to Seattle Sounders

Former Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schimid has criticized his former employers for focusing only on their pursuit of winning the MLS Cup.

Schimid was the Sounders' first and only manager in MLS, and under his leadership Seattle made the playoffs every year, won the 2014 Supporters' Shield for best regular-season record, and claimed the U.S. Open Cup four times.

But he never made it through the playoffs to bring the MLS Cup to Seattle and was let go in July following a poor start to his eighth season in charge.

And in an interview with the Seattle Times, Schmid said that consistent results no longer mattered to those in the club's front office.

"Somebody made a comment to me within the organization that 'we're changing our philosophy here where it's not about being consistent, it's about putting all of our effort into winning the Cup,'" Schmid said. "I'm going: 'So how does that work?' You have to be a consistent team to give yourself a chance to win the Cup every year.

"How exactly from a coaching style do you do that? I said, 'You let me know how that works, because I'd certainly love to know.'"

The Sounders' impatience to win MLS Cup was made worse when rival Portland claimed the trophy last season, but the Timbers failed to make the playoffs at all in 2014 and are again on the outside looking in as the current campaign winds down.

Schmid questioned whether that record made his counterpart in Portland a better coach.

"Does that mean Caleb [Porter] has been a successful coach, because one year he won MLS Cup and in three he barely made the playoffs?" Schmid told the Times. "Is MLS Cup the only thing that defines you as a coach?

"There's a little bit of that feeling. The only thing that makes me sad is there was a feeling toward the end in Seattle is that that's the only thing that defines success.

"Getting into the playoffs seven years in a row, winning five trophies -- not including Cascadia Cups -- I think it's pretty good."