There's some delicious, delicious drama brewing between Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid and U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati over the U.S. Open Cup.
Basically, Schmid thinks U.S. Soccer is going out of their way to keep the Sounders from winning another Open Cup, since, as we've explored before, the Sounders are either pteromerhanophobic, have a severe allergy to grass, both or some combination of the two and were more than willing to play by the then-rules to stay at home.
"Obviously the coin is not favorable to us. It seems to land on the right side for K.C. and for D.C. United, whose president of one club and coach of the other (club) have been on the executive committee of U.S. Soccer -- surprisingly. Being very frank, I think U.S. Soccer is trying to make it difficult for us to win an Open Cup. It's almost like sometimes I get the feeling like they'd rather not see us win it again, for whatever reasons. Maybe they think it dilutes the value of the Cup or they're getting pressure from others that think Seattle can only win it because they're playing at home.
"All that I know is you compare us and D.C., I mean D.C. has played one away game since 2007. We've played a lot more away games with the second-division Sounders and first division. I know we were in Portland twice, just to think of that one. So it's just something that's there. I think they're making it difficult for us, but it's like, 'OK, they can throw obstacles in the way. We're going to try to jump over each of those hurdles,' and I think we can. And maybe it gives us an 'us against the world' mentality a little bit, because I really think that they would prefer for somebody else to win it."
Basically, what Schmid is mad about is, likely, having to travel for a possible quarterfinal match-up. It's worth noting, for the uninitiated, that the Open Cup rules have since changed, and it's pretty much a blind draw for home field until the semifinal.
When Gulati caught wind of Schmid's comments, he was none too happy, telling Soccer By Ives...
"Sigi's comments are completely inappropriate and frankly quite offensive," Gulati told SBI in a phone interview on Monday. "The fact that you lose a few coin flips in a row, that can happen, and that's what's happened here. To imply any kind of conspiracy against Seattle or in favor of D.C. or Kansas City is nonsense.
"In the same set of comments, Sigi points out that he's been a part of three finals when he hosted a game, including the last two in Seattle. It's nonsense."
If we can apply Schmid's logic, U.S. Soccer harbors nothing but deep seated loathing and blackest hate for the Red Bulls. Either that or losing a few coin tosses is completely within the realm of possibility. But, really, by making such a big deal about road trips the Sounders don't know what they're missing. While the Sounders get rained on, the Red Bulls get to enjoy Philadelphia Steak & Hoagie on 4th Street (but only if they get there early enough), The Firehouse (just a quick walk to City Island for the game!) and the National Civil War Museum.
What's that? Schmid was trying to make a point about transparency in the draw? Well, no one could hear him over his stifling lack of self-awareness.