MLS’ Coaching Legend Sigi Schmid Dies aged 65

Sigi Schmid. Image by Seattle Sounders FC staff via Wikipedia

Former Los Angeles Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid died Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after a long struggle battle with a heart condition.

“Today’s news comes as a shock and a devastating blow to our entire community across MLS and US Soccer,” Seattle Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer said. “Sigi was someone I respected immensely, not only for his success as a coach and dedication to his craft, but more importantly as a man and someone that truly left a positive mark on the people he encountered every day.

Schmid holds the record for the winningest coach in Major League Soccer with 266 wins acquired both in regular and postseason wins. The Germany-born moved to California with his family at the age of four years.

He began his coaching career in 1999 with the Galaxy and helped them win the CONCAF title in 2000. He left LA in 2004 and joined the Columbus Crew in 2006 and won the 2008 league championship with them. He coached the Sounders later on before returning to LA in 2016. He resigned this September to concentrate on his health.

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

During Sigi’s long and successful career, he also won five U.S. Open Cups and won three NCAA championships at UCLA, a record that got him inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.