CHICAGO – Major League Soccer announced Friday it has renamed its coach of the year award after coaching icon Sigi Schmid who recently passed away.
The Sigi Schmid coach of the Year award honors the league’s all-time leader in victories who served as the head coach of the LA Galaxy, Columbus Crew SC and Seattle Sounders during his 20 years in MLS.
The announcement was made at the annual MLS SuperDraft and United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago. Since 1996, the coach of the year award has been presented annually to the league’s top coach as voted upon by players, club technical staffs and media.
“Sigi was an important part of our league from the very early years in our history, and he had a significant impact on everyone he touched throughout his life and coaching career,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said. “While he will be remembered by many in the soccer community for his success on the field, it was his kindness and his great qualities as a father, husband and mentor that made him such as special person.”
Schmid was a coaching legend in MLS, registering an MLS record 240 regular season wins to go with another 26 victories in postseason play with three separate clubs over nearly 20 years. He won a 2002 MLS Cup title with the Galaxy (1999-2004), earned his second MLS Cup victory with Columbus Crew SC (2006-2008) in 2008 before taking over the expansion Seattle Sounders (2009-2016). He returned to take over the Galaxy in 2017 and concluded his MLS coaching career in Los Angeles in September 2018.
Schmid was a two-time MLS coach of the year winner in 1999 and 2008 and he also collected five Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophies, including four with the Sounders. He is one of only two MLS coaches to lead their club to a Concacaf regional title, guiding the Galaxy to a 2000 Champions Cup triumph.
Prior to joining the Galaxy five games into the 1999 season, Schmid won win three NCAA national championships (1985, 1990 and 1997) during 19 seasons at UCLA. Schmid also worked with U.S. Soccer, serving as an assistant coach for the U.S. national team at the 1994 World Cup and serving two tenures as the U.S. Under-20 head coach, in 1998-1999 and 2005. He is a member of both the UCLA Hall of Fame (1996) and the U.S. Soccer National Soccer Hall of Fame (2015).