By Michael Lewis
SEATTLE — No one ever questioned how prepared Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer is.
He wouldn’t have won two MLS Cups if he hasn’t been.
In fact, he prepared two speeches, depending on the result of MLS Cup Final at CenturyLink Field Sunday night.
One if his team had won, a victory speech, if you will, and another had it lost to Toronto FC, a concession speech. He used the former after his team recorded a 3-1 win.
This is what Schmetzer told the media at his postgame press conference:
“It’s important to me because you know, as I was sitting in my hotel room this morning, collecting my thoughts. Obviously, it was a big game. It was a massive, massive game, and I jotted down some notes because sometimes I forget things, and it’s two sides of the paper. So there’s this side, and then there’s this side, and one I’m going to read right now, but the flip side would have been the one had we not won the game. And that is testament to [Toronto head coach] Greg Vanney and the Toronto organization because those guys had a really good season, they had a good game plan, and I congratulate Greg and his organization for getting to three finals in four years, and I was prepared.
“Now, I’m going to read my little opening statement: First of all, I just want to say that we don’t, our team, our club, we don’t operate in the realm of fear, we don’t do that, we address problems, we overcome, we try and be better at everything that we do and I think we respect our opponents, but we don’t have any fear. I think that the organization from top to bottom and I’m going to thank Adrian [Hanauer] I know he walked into the room with me, I want to thank him for giving me a chance a lot of years ago. Joe Roth, the new owners, Russel, Ciara, Macklemore, Terry, a bunch of Microsoft people, I mean what a great way to start their ownership tenure at the club.
“I want to thank all of the staff down at Starfire, and that includes my coaches. I mean Preki has been MLS coach of the year, Gonzo and Djimi are super talented coaches, Tommy, my best friend, Chris, Paul, Jake, Hilary, equipment guys, fitness guys, sports science, everybody, everybody did a great job to help us persevere. Garth and Chris, congratulations to them and thank them for the hard work to make this club successful, we couldn’t do it without them. You know family, this was what we all had [referencing T-shirt] when we got the new ownership group. My family was there tonight, my two grandbabies were there, baby Scotty, and baby Uma, my wife, my six kids, I love you all. My mom’s watching I’m sure. And most importantly, the players and the fans deserve this.”
Schmetzer slowed down a bit and became a bit emotional.
“The players persevered because again it was the first half that you know we needed to make some adjustments, and they never quit, and the fans never stopped believing,” he said. “So I’m very, very happy and proud for the city and the fans. So help me out here.”