On Tuesday, former Sounder coach Sigi Schmid passed away at the age of 65. Sigi, a National Soccer Hall of Fame member, earned a myriad of awards throughout his career. The legendary coach was a 2x MLS Coach of the Year (1999,2008) and one-time NCAA Coach of the year and has the MLS record for most wins in history.
“Major League Soccer is devastated by the news of the passing of Sigi Schmid,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said. “Sigi will go down as one of the leading figures in the history of our league … Sigi’s passion for soccer was unrivaled, and he was loved and admired by everyone in MLS. We deeply mourn his passing and send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Valerie, their children, and all of his loved ones.”
Born in Germany, Sigi moved to the US and played midfield for UCLA. He would later coach the Bruins 19 for years. He would go on to win the NCAA championship in 1985, 1990, and 1997 and be enshrined in the UCLA spots Hall of Fame.
Major League Soccer is devastated by the news of the passing of Sigi Schmid. Sigi will go down as one of the leading figures in the history of our league. https://t.co/xki3MDQ5Ka
— Don Garber (@thesoccerdon) December 27, 2018
Sigi would get called upon by the LA Galaxy to coach despite the fact that he never played or coached at the professional level. His fiery nature and demand for excellence pushed the Galaxy to a US Open cup win in 2001, a Supporter’s shield in 2002, and CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2000—feats unmatched in MLS history.
Sigi would make the jump to the Columbus Crew, where he would win another Supporters Shield and another championship.
“He was an amazing family person, and his love for soccer was endless. 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.”—Jurgen Klinsmann USMNT manager.
But it would be his 7 year run with the Sounders that would be remembered most by the Sounders fan base. No MLS team would ever have the success that the Seattle Sounders would have in making the playoffs in their first year and accumulating 4 Open Cups and a Supporter’s Shield. He would miss out on the MLS Cup run by the Sounders, but it would be the legacy that he built that put the Rave Green in position to earn those championship runs.
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