A year and a day after he was fired by the Seattle Sounders, Sigi Schmid is back in the MLS coaching ranks.
The winningest coach in league history will take over the LA Galaxy after the club fired first-year head coach Curt Onalfo, the Galaxy announced Thursday. The LA Times’ Kevin Baxter first reported the news, which was later confirmed by ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle, who added that Schmid had signed a deal with LA through the 2018 season.
“After a great deal of evaluation and careful consideration, we believe that Sigi Schmid is the best person to coach our team for the remainder of this season and into the future,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein in a statement provided by the team. “Sigi is one of the most experienced coaches in the history of soccer in the United States and he is an extremely successful manager that has proven himself to be a winner within Major League Soccer. Sigi has been one of the best coaches the history of our league and we have full confidence in him to lead our team moving forward.
“Our goal remains to win trophies and be the best club in North America and we believe that Sigi gives us the best opportunity to achieve this.”
Hired by the Galaxy to replace Bruce Arena after he left LA to take charge of the US national team last November, Onalfo was 6-10-4 in 20 regular season games with the club. Accustomed to competing for the top spots in MLS, the Galaxy are currently in ninth in the Western Conference and sit in 19th in the overall league table. They’re five points behind Vancouver for the West’s sixth and final playoff spot.
“Curt Onalfo has been a loyal servant to the Galaxy and Galaxy II for a number of seasons and we wish him well,” said Klein.
Schmid's first game in charge of LA will be a doozy, as the Galaxy will host the Sounders – whom Schmid coached for seven and a half seasons before being dismissed last summer – in a nationally-televised match on Saturday night (10 pm ET; ESPN, ESPN Deportes | MLS LIVE in Canada).
A longtime resident of Southern California, Schmid coached the Galaxy once before, leading them from 199-2004. He won three trophies in his first stint with LA, guiding the Galaxy to the 2001 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup before winning MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield in 2002.