MLSnet.com, the official website of Major League Soccer, has added former Los Angeles Galaxy Head Coach Sigi Schmid, one of the winningest coaches in MLS history, to its lineup of weekly columnists. An MLS Cup champion with the Galaxy in 2002 and a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, Schmid will provide analysis of the League from a coach's perspective in a regular Wednesday column. In his first published column, Schmid analyzed the philosophy behind substitutions, identifying particular instances from the weekend MLS matches.
"When you've coached as long as I have you never steer too far away from the game," said Schmid, who was an aspiring sportswriter as a youth. "I'm going to enjoy this new columnist role with MLSnet.com because not only do I get to write about the sport but it's also an opportunity to connect with the fans."
Schmid joins a lineup of columnists that includes: fellow National Soccer Hall of Fame member and ESPN2 soccer analyst Eric Wynalda, former MLS player Greg Lalas, Marc Connolly and Jeff Bradley. Beau Dure offers MLS Fantasy Challenge insight, Tino Palace takes an irreverent look at happenings around the League, while Andy Pavon highlights some of the stories that emerge from the weekend's action.
One of the most successful and respected coaches in the United States today, Schmid has coached at the highest levels of soccer in America. The highlights of his career include serving as an assistant coach for the U.S. team at the 1994 FIFA World Cup, capturing three NCAA championships with UCLA and then proceeding to lead the Los Angeles Galaxy to four trophies in his five-plus years at the helm. He took the reins of the Galaxy beginning in April 1999 before he parted ways with the club in August of this year with the Galaxy standing atop the Western Conference.
The 51-year-old Schmid, who currently ranks fifth all-time in wins by an MLS coach (79), earned MLS Coach of the Year honors in 1999 in his first MLS season as he led the Galaxy to an appearance in the MLS Cup championship game. It was the first of three appearances in the MLS Cup championship game for Schmid and the Galaxy, with the club's first League title coming in the 2002 title match. During his tenure with the Galaxy, Schmid led the club to two other championships: the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the 2000 CONCACAF Champion's Cup, earning a rare treble of every major title in the region. The Galaxy are still the only team to qualify for the playoffs in each of the league's first eight seasons.
Prior to becoming the Galaxy's coach six games into the 1999 season, Schmid served as a collegiate head coach at UCLA for 19 years (1980-1999), leading the school to 16 postseason appearances, capturing three titles (1985, 1990, 1997) and developing future U.S. National Team stars Paul Caligiuri, Cobi Jones, Carlos Bocanegra and Brad Friedel. During that period Schmid was also a valuable member of the U.S. National Team staff, guiding the Under-20 National Team in the FIFA World Youth Championships in addition to his role as an assistant with the 1994 U.S. World Cup team.
A Certified Public Accountant, Schmid graduated from UCLA in 1976 with a B.S. degree in economics before going on to earn his M.A. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. While a player at UCLA, Schmid had a successful career as a four-year midfield starter from 1972-75. Born in Tuebingen, West Germany on March 20, 1953, Schmid moved with his family to Torrance, California in 1962. He resides with his wife, Valerie, and his four children Erik, Lacey, Kurt and Kyle in Manhattan Beach, California.