Sigi Schmid

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Tributes pour in for Schmid from across the nation

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It’s not an understatement to say that Sigi Schmid, as he lived, impacted what we know of U.S. Soccer and MLS today.

From playing college soccer to becoming a legendary college coach, then having stints with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team and nearly 20 years in U.S. Soccer, Schmid kept taking the game to a new level. That’s why his loss, reportedly due to a heart condition, has hit the American soccer community so hard.

Remembrances of Schmid’s life have been pouring in since news of his death filtered through social media on Wednesday, with former players, coaches and clubs all chiming in. Here’s a sample of the many tributes to Schmid.


Legendary American coach Sigi Schmid dies

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One of the greatest coaches in U.S. soccer history passed away Tuesday.

Sigi Schmid, 65, had been hospitalized three weeks ago in need of a heart transplant.

His cause of death has yet to be disclosed.

The coach with the most wins in Major League Soccer history, Schmid led both the Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy to MLS Cup titles, plus won five U.S. Open Cups, a CONACACF Champions’ Cup with LA in 2000 and won three Supporters’ Shield titles with LA and then the Seattle Sounders.

Schmid’s family have released the following statement.

“Our family is deeply saddened by his passing and is taking this time to grieve the loss of a tremendous husband, father, leader and mentor. We also recognize how much Sigi meant to so many people across the U.S. Soccer landscape and around the world at different levels of the game. That community meant a great deal to him as well. While we mourn his loss, we appreciate privacy during this challenging time.”

A former head coach of the UCLA men’s soccer team for 19 years, Schmid also won three NCAA national championships while in charge of the Bruins and helped develop many of the finest players the American game has seen.

Schmid recored 266 wins across 18 MLS seasons, while he had a record of 322-63-33 with UCLA which included 16 consecutive playoff appearances.

He was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2015 and Schmid was the head coach of the LA Galaxy until September 2018.

Tributes have poured in for Schmid from across the soccer world, with MLS Commissioner Don Garber leading the tributes to Schmid’s incredible work in the American soccer landscape.

“Major League Soccer is devastated by the news of the passing of Sigi Schmid,” Garber said. “Sigi will go down as one of the leading figures in the history of our league. From Los Angeles to Columbus and Seattle, Sigi won more games than any coach in MLS history and led his clubs to multiple championships, including two MLS Cups and five Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups. Sigi’s passion for soccer was unrivaled, and he was loved and admired by everyone in MLS. We deeply mourn his passing and send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Valerie, their children, and all of his loved ones.”

An immigrant from Germany who moved to Southern California at the age of four, Schmid’s father worked in a brewery and his mother in a German deli. He often spoke of his journey from Germany to the U.S. and how the lessons he learned from his family helped shape him to be the great coach he became.

Schmid’s incredible journey on U.S. soil saw him become one of the most influential figures in American soccer history.

Sigi Schmid out as LA Galaxy’s head coach

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Heading into the pivotal final few weeks of the Major League Soccer season, the playoff chasing LA Galaxy are without a head coach.

Veteran head coach Sigi Schmid, 65, has resigned as LA’s leader and his assistant Dominic Kinnear has stepped in for the remaining six games of the season.

Schmid has more wins than any other coach in MLS history with 240 in the regular season.

The Galaxy — currently in the middle of a six-game winless runs which included a 5-0 hammering at Seattle and a 6-2 defeat at Real Salt Lake — have scheduled a conference call for 5 p.m. ET Monday.

ESPN’s Taylor Twellman first broke the news, stating that Schmid was out immediately with former Houston Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes head coach Kinnear stepping in.

Despite their poor form this season, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 16 goals and the Galaxy sit just three points out of the playoff places in the Western Conference. However, the balance of this team just hasn’t seemed right for some time with big name players not gelling and the teams around them in the playoff hunt do have games in hand of LA.

Schmid took charge of the Galaxy for a second stint in the final months of the 2017 season, after previously winning an MLS Cup in 2002 with LA during five years at the helm from 1999-2004. He then went on to turn Columbus into perennial MLS Cup contenders (winning it all in 2008) before being the coach of the Seattle Sounders from 2009-16 as he set the foundations for one of the most successful expansion franchises in MLS history.

During his illustrious coaching career Schmid won the U.S. Open Cup five times and the MLS Supporters’ Shield three times, as well as MLS Cups with LA and the Columbus Crew plus the CONCACAF Champions Cup with LA in 2000.

Whether or not this is the end of his coaching career remains to be seen, but he is one of the greatest managers in U.S. history.

Many believe cleaning out the front office at the StubHub Center would be a much better idea as two years of struggle followed Bruce Arena’s departure for the USMNT head coaching job in 2016.

LA Galaxy looks set for massive turnaround

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Major League Soccer’s parity lends itself to dramatic turnarounds, and 2018 should be no different.

[ MORE: High profile loan for Palace ]

We’ll detail several in the run-up to the 2018 season, but the confirmation that Chris Pontius is taking his talents to Carson really blasts one side’s turn-around into the stratosphere.

Part of this admittedly feels like cheating considering the LA Galaxy’s awful 2017 campaign may have always been destined to be a one-off after suffering through a miserable season under Curt Onalfo and Sigi Schmid.

At the risk of carrying Bruce Arena vitriol from the USMNT realm and into MLS, this was about more than him. Part of it was happenstance: The Galaxy were one of just two teams to finish below .500 at home, and they were absolutely miserable there.

The other part was the departure of so many parts of their 2016 base: Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, Mike Magee, and Alan Gordon all left after accounting for 22 goals and 18 assists. Gerrard, for what it’s worth, never overcame league-wide fan perception of his worth and was responsible for 11 assists.

Throw in Gyasi Zardes’ continued regression and both his, Sebastian Lletget‘s and Jermaine Jones’ battles with injuries, and the Galaxy were up against it despite their status as a flagship institution of MLS competition (We got this far without mentioning Jelle van Damme’s desire to go home, which was granted before the end of August).

Now Zardes is gone. That’s a more than acceptable loss as the Galaxy sent a lot of money to land Ola Kamara, who will join up with Pontius, Romain Alessandrini, Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos, Perry Kitchen, and Lletget to form a verifiably solid front. David Bingham arrives to steady the back, too.

Plus, there are rumors of Ross McCormack arriving on loan, with Colorado and Orlando (another flip candidate) in the running as well.

In a world where the Galaxy weren’t dead last in the league, Alessandrini would’ve been an MVP candidate last season.

The West was largely underwhelming last season, as seventh place FC Dallas simultaneously finished just seven points shy of first while also missing the playoffs. LA could flip its script as dramatically as 2017 Chicago, and this should be a wonderful West Coast battle given Bob Bradley and the excitement across town.

LA Galaxy’s second Dos Santos signing is a season-changer

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Remember this day, MLS fans, as one that perhaps helped determine an MLS Cup Finalist.

The LA Galaxy have signed Villarreal midfielder and Mexican national teamer Jonathan Dos Santos, and he’s the sort of player who could alter the landscape of the Western Conference.

Like Nicolas Lodeiro to Seattle last season and New England’s addition of Jermaine Jones in 2014, Dos Santos’ move comes with the distinct possibility of elevating LA into the next stratosphere.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Arriola attracting transfer interest ]

Take the Galaxy’s history of winning, and toss in a midseason coaching improvement from Curt Onalfo to Sigi Schmid, as well as MVP-in-their-own-right caliber teammates Giovani Dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini, and Jelle van Damme.

Don’t sleep on the fact that Schmid might be gathering momentum from inheriting a talented and underachieving roster and a brand new game-changing midfielder, which feels a bit like karmic retribution for Seattle firing him and signing Lodeiro the next day last season. Seattle only went and won the MLS Cup.

Schmid has used any number of formations, but could deploy a 4-3-3 with Jona Dos Santos, Jermaine Jones, and Joao Pedro in the midfielder and Giovani Dos Santos, Alessandrini, and Gyasi Zardes up top (Sebastian Lletget could return at some point, too).

Now FC Dallas is very deep, Sporting KC looks powerful, and Seattle won it all last year — plus, may be adding Derlis Gonzalez?!? — but LA’s move to add Dos Santos creates a quartet of teams with proven mettle (Houston looks decent, too, but I have concerns about their first-time as a unit in the playoffs).