Tributes to Sigi Schmid pour in around social media

Sigi Schmid - close up

Following the news that Sigi Schmid has died, announced on Wednesday, tributes on social media began pouring in for the legendary MLS head coach.

Bruce Arena, one of the two coaching titans who built and transformed MLS alongside Schmid, gave a statement to the Los Angeles Times following Schmid's death.

“Sigi was passionate for the game, a tireless worker, and was loved by his players,” Arena said. “His accomplishments at every level were truly remarkable and he will be missed.”

Former US national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann, a fellow Southern California resident, shared a statement as well with the Los Angeles Times.

“He was an amazing family person and his love for soccer was endless,” Klinsmann said Wednesday. “He was like an encyclopedia. He formed soccer in this country like no one else over the last 30 years, at UCLA, in the college world, or by building the success and foundation of the Galaxy, the Columbus Crew and the Seattle Sounders. His brain was always going 200 mph.

“He was such a giver. Sigi leaves us far too early. People like him are very rare in this world: straight forward, giver, passionate, endlessly dedicated to his mission and to his family.”

Seattle Sounders co-owner Drew Carey was stunned by the news of the club's former coach's passing.

Brian Schmetzer, an assistant coach under Schmid in Seattle who took over as head coach following his departure in 2016, released a statement through the Sounders: "We are all deeply saddened to lose one of the most well-respected men in our soccer community, and extend our deepest condolences to his family. He was a man of great character and integrity. He helped launch our franchise with winning traditions, and I learned a lot from Sigi in our seven years of coaching together. He will always hold a special place in my heart, and I know the same can be said for our Sounders family and the greater Seattle soccer community."

Jason Kreis frequently lined up across from Schmid as a player or coach, but paid tribute to a colleague who was willing to help others.

Alejandro Moreno played for and won an MLS Cup with Schmid in Columbus.

Eric Wynalda, who played for the US national team at the 1994 World Cup, with Schmid as an assistant, said the winningest MLS coach was responsible for his career as a pro player.

Another prominent member of that 1994 USMNT squad, Tony Meola, shared his recollection of Schmid.

Jimmy Conrad was one of many UCLA products who played for Schmid at NCAA level and went on to a successful pro career.

Another UCLA product, Kevin Hartman, who also played for Schmid at the LA Galaxy, wrote a lengthy statement on his Twitter account about his former coach.

It wasn't just players who have since retired who paid their respects, as Sounders forward Jordan Morris, who played for Schmid during his final season in Seattle, tweeted about his first pro coach.

Members of the media, like TV reporters Katie Witham and Julie Stewart-Binks, weighed in as well.

Journalist John Rojas shared a quiet moment at a Galaxy training session.

Orlando City playmaker Sacha Kljestan is yet another pro who credits Schmid for the heights he's reached, and he too saluted the departed coach late Wednesday night:

ESPN analyst and retired striker Herculez Gomez also added his voice to the chorus...

... as did the sport's leading executives, including MLS Commissioner Don Garber and U.S. Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro:

While ex-pro turned COPA90 presenter Heath Pearce hailed Schmid as a "pioneer" of the North American game: