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December 10, 2008 at 12:10 AM

NEWS FLASH: Schmid to Seattle seems imminent

Coach Sigi Schmid, according to the Columbus Crew official blog and the Columbus Dispatch, is not returning to the Crew. That from Crew president and GM Mark McCullers, who issued the following statement last night:

“Sigi Schmid has formally declined our last contract offer and will not be returning as head coach of the Columbus Crew. Sigi was the ideal person to turn around our competitive program and create a championship mentality within our club. As a result, we are well positioned moving forward and toward continued success. We respect his desire to seek the next challenge and wish him nothing but the best.”

Of course, one can only surmise that the statement above means hello, Seattle for Schmid, who interviewed with Sounders FC last week. Thanks to a reader in Georgia, who alerted me to this story on si.com:

Here’s a story posted on the Dispatch site about Schmid’s departure. Schmid led the Crew to the 2008 MLS Cup championship.

UPDATE: Sounders FC has no comment on the situation other than to say that while they hope to confirm a head coach soon, nothing is imminent. Here’s a photo of Schmid from last season with the Crew, courtesy of flickr.com:

2373317566_f5ffebe474.jpg

Stay tuned. I’ve got the always busy Seahawks Wednesday but I will post something on the Times Web site as soon as something happens, if it does, during the day.

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