CARSON, Calif – Sigi Schmid already made one homecoming this year, returning to Southern California to coach the Galaxy for the second time in his illustrious career.
This weekend, he’ll make another.
The Galaxy will take on the Sounders at CenturyLink Field on Sunday (9 pm ET; FS1 in the US, TVA Sports in Canada). It’ll be the first time Schmid will face Seattle since he was fired by the club last summer after winning five trophies in seven-and-a-half years as their head coach.
It has the potential to be an emotional game for Schmid. With the Sounders currently atop the Western Conference, a Galaxy victory could also create significant chaos at the top of the standings.
While all that is in play, for Schmid the return is about little things like visiting family (his son, Kurt, is the Sounders’ director of player personnel) and remembering to use the visitor’s locker room at CenturyLink Field.
“As long as I don’t walk into the wrong locker room I’ll be OK,” he joked after practice on Thursday. “I was gonna walk into that locker room as a joke, but I don’t know if that will go over.
“It’ll feel great, I still have my brother up there and I’ve got three grandkids up there as well so it’ll be nice to see family when I go up there. It’s going to be an intense, competitive game. I know [Seattle head coach] Brian Schmetzer wants to win, we’re good friends, and he’ll know I want to win. You don’t want to lose to friends because you hear about it all the time.”
Schmid recorded his first win since re-joining the Galaxy when LA beat Colorado 3-0 at StubHub Center last Saturday. He called the victory a confidence-booster for the club, who have endured a miserable year and currently sit in ninth in the West, 11 points behind sixth-place Vancouver. They’re by no means giving up on an improbable playoff run, but there’s an understanding around Galaxy camp that their current work is being done with an eye on 2018.
“Feels a lot better,” Schmid said when asked if it was a lot easier coming into work on Monday after the win. “It’s just something that we’ve got to continue to build. This building process is a journey, we’ve embarked upon this journey.
“The end of the journey for me is not until the end of next season. We’re still in the middle of that journey, and we’re going to do everything we can to put ourselves into contention this year – maybe make a run at it, nothing’s impossible. On the same token we also want to put the right foundation in for next year.”