Andy Gottesman / The Lantern
Sometimes, you can go home again. That is, if the MLS schedule demands it.
Former Columbus Crew coach Sigi Schmid, who coached the Crew the past three years and received the MLS award for Coach of the Year in the Crew’s championship season in 2008, returns to Columbus as the coach for the Seattle Sounders Ft, the Crew’s opponent on Saturday.
Schmid left the Crew, citing unhappiness with contract offers and a desire to move to the West Coast to be closer to his family.
The split wasn’t bitter, but each side in the match has extra stake in Saturday’s match.
The Crew (12-4-10), the first MLS team to secure a playoff berth, look to continue their 22-home game regular season unbeaten streak.
Last week’s victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy at Crew Stadium kept Columbus perched atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Seattle (9-7-11), on the other hand, is fighting for one of four wildcard spots in the Western Conference.
This is the second and final meeting of the two teams this season. Their first match on May 30 ended in a 1-1 tie.
The Crew are in the midst of a grueling schedule. They have played seven games in 21 days, during which they are 3-1-1 in MLS play. This record does not reflect games played in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Columbus looks to rebound from Tuesday night’s match, when Deportivo Saprissa of the CCL scored off of a free kick with two minutes remaining to tie the game.
The draw kept Columbus from nailing down a spot in the CCL quarterfinals held in Puerto Rico.
Crew captain Frankie Hejduk, a defender will be sidelined for Saturday’s game because of a suspension for a yellowcard in the LA match.
Crew coach Robert Warzycha remains nonplussed.
“We have a very deep squad,” he said. “I can go with any player as long as we are playing as a team.”
Saturday’s game is at 7:30 p.m.