The Sounders and coach Brian Schmetzer reportedly have reached an agreement on a new contract, according to SBI Soccer reporter Ives Galarcep.
The reported deal comes after months of negotiations between the two-time MLS Cup-winning coach and the Sounders. Schmetzer was vocal to media members about his frustrations in not reaching a deal promptly. His previous contract, which was signed in 2017, expired Dec. 31.
Representatives for the Sounders declined to comment on the reported deal.
“I’ve always said that I hope to be back,” Schmetzer said prior to the December deadline. “It is something that both sides are willing to try to make a push to get it done. It is getting a little late in the year, but everybody has the same goals in mind in trying to push it over the finish line.”
Schmetzer, 58, theoretically could’ve sought similar positions elsewhere this month. But the Nathan Hale High School alum made clear he wanted to remain in his native city. Schmetzer led the club prior to its elevation to Major League Soccer and then rose from a Sounders assistant under the late Sigi Schmid to interim head coach in 2016.
Schmetzer has led the club to four MLS Cup appearances the past five years, winning the title in 2016 and 2019. The Sounders lost the 2020 MLS Cup to the Columbus Crew SC in December.
The Sounders likely will pivot to negotiations regarding key veterans Kelvin Leerdam, Gustav Svensson, and Joao Paulo, who are either out of contract or have deals that need to be extended.
Svensson, a defensive midfielder, is linked to returning to the Chinese Super League where he played in 2016. A tweet stating a deal was close to being signed was made by the Chinese outlet Titan Sports Media Group late last month.