With the LA Galaxy mired in a six-match winless stretch and on the outside of the playoff picture with six matches remaining, head coach Sigi Schmid has stepped down little over a year after taking the job, the Galaxy announced Monday. ESPN's Taylor Twellman first reported the news on Monday morning.
Assistant Dominic Kinnear, who has more than a decade of MLS head coaching experience between Houston and San Jose, will take over on an interim basis.
In a statement issued by the club Monday, Schmid insisted the decision was his.
“After careful consideration, I have decided to step away from coaching at this time, but would like to remain in the game," Schmid said in the statement. "With six games remaining as the club fights for a playoff spot, I understand the timing of this decision is unfortunate. However, I believe this group can come together and fight for a spot this season under Dom’s guidance.”
Schmid remains the winningest coach in MLS history with 266 regular- and post-season victories as well as two MLS Cups, three Supporters' Shields and five U.S. Open Cups to his name. However, he departs his latest post less than 14 months after he assumed it in late July of 2017 with the Galaxy amid a similar skid.
Since then, he has seen the arrival of international reinforcements like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jonathan dos Santos and Jorgen Sjkelvik as well as well-known American MLS veterans Perry Kitchen and Chris Pontius.
But after some promising stretches earlier in the season, those struggles have returned, with the Galaxy three points beneath the playoff line and having played at least one match more than all but one of the six teams currently above said line.
Word is Sigi Schmid resigned and was not fired. If that's true, the timing is interesting. Seems designed to have maximum impact given the playoff race. @LAGalaxy has scheduled a conference call for 2 p.m. PT— Kevin Baxter (@kbaxter11) September 10, 2018
Kinnear sits third on the MLS coaching wins list with 166 league wins. He has won two MLS Cups, in 2006 and 2007 in Houston, and four conference championships — two East and two West.
“I want to thank Sigi and the LA Galaxy for bringing me here last season,” Kinnear said in a statement. “Our focus now is to win as many games as possible through the end of the season.”
The match was the Galaxy's second defeat by that scoreline to the Claret-and-Cobalt in as many seasons. The previous year, the loss came at home in Curt Onalfo's third-to-last match in charge prior to Schmid's arrival.