After seven years of failing to reach the MLS Cup, Major League Soccer's championship game, a 6-12-2 start to 2016 and being buried at ninth place in the Western Conference, the Seattle Sounders needed a change.
On July 26, Brian Schmetzer, an Assistant Coach since the club's inception in 2008, stepped in for Sigi Schmid, the only Head Coach the Sounders had ever known.
98 days later, Schmetzer is now leading Seattle into the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals against Supporters' Shield winners FC Dallas with a 3-0 aggregate lead. The tides have certainly turned for the Sounders.
With Seattle on the verge of the Conference Finals for the third time in club history, the "Interim" tag on Schmetzer's head coaching position seemed to have an expiration date.
Wednesday night, the move became official.
Schmetzer's 8-2-4 regular-season record since taking over the Sounders marks one the greatest runs in team history. He now faces the tough task of taking the team somewhere they have never been before: the MLS Cup.
"It's obviously an awesome day," Schmetzer said. "I'm proud to be the Head Coach of this team."
General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey praised Schmetzer's job over the last three months and when asked why the move was made now, replied, "Duh."
The news of Schmetzer's full-time head coaching announcement came during the Sounders Alliance Annual Business Meeting at CenturyLink Field with media and season ticket members in attendance.
Schmetzer grew up in Seattle and attended Nathan Hale High School, playing youth soccer with the Lake City Hawks. He joined the Seattle Sounders of the North American Soccer Leaue (NASL) in 1980 after graduating high school.
The new Sounders FC Head Coach began coaching in 1988 as an assistant with the Tacoma Stars for a single year. His first head coaching job came up the road with the Seattle Sounders of the United Soccer League's First Division in 2002. Schmetzer held the position until becoming an assistant with Sounders FC in 2008.
Schmetzer acknowledges Sigi Schmid starting this latest great run of Sounders soccer including the first game as FC. Huge applause.— Jackson Felts (@JacksonKJR) November 3, 2016
"This club is the only thing that is going to continue. This club will always be here. This club will always be the fans and the players," Schmetzer said. \
After locking up the No. 4 seed in the Conference and a home playoff match on Oct. 23, both Brad Evans and Jordan Morris said that Schmetzer deserved to have the "Interim" tag removed from his job title.
"I 100% think he should get the job," Morris said at the time. "Hopefully after we win the MLS Cup he will become the Head Coach."
Despite the fact that the club has not yet won the MLS Cup, Schmetzer is now the new Head Coach. Morris, who attended the event, cheered during the announcement.
Here's the scene at CenturyLink. pic.twitter.com/5ujS4cuCTM— Jackson Felts (@JacksonKJR) November 3, 2016
Seattle travels to Dallas for the second leg of the Conference Semifinals, Sunday at 6:00 p.m. on FOX Sports 1.
Schmetzer said, as he has multiple times before, "we're not done yet."