MLS Coach of the Year Award Named After Sigi Schmid

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Sigi Schmid
SEATTLE, WA - MAY 02: Head coach Sigi Schmid of the Seattle Sounders looks on prior to the match against the Los Angeles Galaxy at CenturyLink Field on May 2, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Chicago, Illinois (January 11, 2019) — Sigi Schmid had an incredible impact as an MLS manager. As a result, the league is recognizing his numerous contributions.

Though the focus on Friday centered on the MLS SuperDraft, the league took the time to pay tribute to the late head coach. It came in the form of them naming the Coach of the Year award after Schmid. Schmid passed away on Christmas Day of last year due to heart-related issues at the age of 65.

MLS Names Coach of the Year Award After the Late Sigi Schmid

During his long coaching career, Schmid established a legacy of excellence that fans will never forget. He won MLS Cup on two separate occasions, first with the LA Galaxy in 2002 and later with the Columbus Crew six years later. During his seven-year tenure with the Seattle Sounders, beginning in 2009, Schmid led the team to four U.S. Open Cup titles.

Adding the U.S. Open Cup that he won as Galaxy manager in 2001, Schmid won the nation’s oldest cup competition five times. No coach in the over 100-year history of the tournament accomplished such a feat. Only one other coach led two separate teams to a U.S. Open Cup title while only two others led a team to three straight trophies.

Prior to his MLS coaching career, Schmid spent 19 seasons as UCLA head coach beginning in 1980. In that time, he built the Bruins into an established collegiate soccer powerhouse. The program made the NCAA Tournament 16 straight years between 1983 and 1998 and won three College Cup titles (1985, 1990, 1997). Among the players he developed while at UCLA that became USMNT fixtures was Cobi Jones and legendary goalkeeper and current New England Revolution manager Brad Friedel.

Schmid also has national team coaching experience. He was an assistant on the 1994 USMNT World Cup squad under Bora Milutinovic that advanced to the round of 16. He also coached the U-20s during the 1999 and 2005 World Cups at that age level. The U.S. advanced to the knockout round in both tournaments.

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