Sounders announce they’re parting ways with Sigi Schmid after seven years

SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders announced Tuesday they’re parting ways with manager Sigi Schmid.

Brian Schmetzer will serve as the team's interim coach.

Schmid was hired Dec. 16, 2008, running the Sounders in their expansion season of 2009. Schmid is the only coach the team has known, and it's been one of MLS’ best clubs during his tenure.

The Sounders, however, have struggled badly this season on their way to a 6-12-2 record.

In a 3-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, Seattle didn’t take its first shot until 88 minutes into the game.

The Sounders are sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference, a full 21 points behind first-place Dallas.

"Sigi departs the club with our utmost respect and gratitude for his years of service," Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer said in a statement. "Ultimately the club and Sigi agreed that a change was needed at this time, but Sigi’s legacy will always be a part of our history."

A story from Fox Sports on Monday suggested Schmid’s time with the club could be drawing to a close.

If the Sounders have not started reaching out to potential replacements for the coaching job yet, there's plenty of reason to think they will start soon. Whether they make a midseason change or let the season play out, it's doubtful they can go on much longer without some major changes.

Schmid has been an effective coach over the years, leading the Sounders to win four U.S. Open Cups and a Supporter's Shield, but eventually all good things must come to an end.

Schmetzerhas been Schmid's top assistant for the entirety of his tenure in Seattle. The Seattle native coached the Sounders for seven years during their USL days, from 2002-2008.

"It will be tough for any coach to match the legacy of success (Schmid) has established, and it is with a heavy heart that we part ways with such a respected figure," Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey said.

Fans' reactions to the announcement was mixed on social media.