Los Angeles Galaxy President and General Manager Doug Hamilton announced Monday that the Major League Soccer (MLS) club has relieved Sigi Schmid of his duties as head coach, effective immediately. Until a new head coach is named, L.A. Galaxy assistant coach Martin Vasquez and the current technical staff will oversee the team.
"After extensive review and analysis, I feel it is in this club's best interest to make a coaching change at this moment," said Hamilton. "It is a decision that I make with great pain because you are talking about a very good man, a very good coach, and someone who has given as much to Southern California soccer as anyone. We are losing a very good person and our players have to understand that and take some responsibility for it."
Schmid became the third coach in team history, succeeding Octavio Zambrano on April 22, 1999. The 49-year-old Schmid finished with an overall record of 79-53-32 (.579), including posting a 16-7-3 record (.673) in the playoffs.
"We are a team whose mission is to compete for and win championships," continued Hamilton. "I strongly feel that now is the time for us to make a change in order to give us the best possible chance to live up to this mission. This marketplace has the savviest, most demanding fans in the U.S., and we must provide them with a more entertaining and attractive product on the field."
The L.A. Galaxy sit atop the league standings with a 9-6-7 record (34 points) just two points ahead of Kansas City. Following a 6-3-3 start to the season, the Galaxy have gone 3-3-4 since June 19, including a present six-game winless streak. Over those six games, Los Angeles have scored only three goals while allowing 13 and have earned just four out of a possible 15 league points.
"This is the most prestigious club coaching position in the United States," stated Hamilton. "Therefore, we have begun the extensive process of searching for the most suitable candidate to lead our on the field effort."
During his tenure with the Galaxy, Schmid led the club to three championships, winning the 2002 MLS Cup, 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2000 CONCACAF Champions' Cup for the treble of titles in the region.
"We are truly grateful to Sigi for his contributions to the team and the community over the last six years with the Galaxy and his many years in Southern California," added Hamilton. "He has demonstrated the ability to win and surely he will be given an opportunity to coach in this League again. We would like to wish him well in his future endeavors."
In six seasons (1999-04), Schmid guided the club to three first-place, one second-place and a fourth place finish in the West. In his first season, he was named the 1999 MLS Coach of the Year for his efforts. He also helped the club to three of its four MLS Cup finals appearances.
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