KANSAS CITY, Mo. – United Soccer Coaches Thursday announced the election of three individuals as the newest members of the association’s Hall of Fame.
All three will be inducted as members of the 2021 Class during the United Soccer Coaches digital convention Jan. 11-15.
Long-time head coaches Joe Palone of the United States Military Academy, Horst Richardson of Colorado College and Sigi Schmid of UCLA and multiple MLS franchises, will be honored at this year’s digital convention.
The three individuals will become the 69th, 70th, and 71st inductees into the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame, which was established in 1991 to honor achievement by coaches with an emphasis on success and a lifetime devotion to the association and the game. Palone, who was elected via the veteran’s balloting of the Hall of Fame Committee, and Schmid, will be honored posthumously. Palone passed away in 2002 at the age of 92 and Schmid passed away in 2018 at the age of 65.
“The newest honorees in the United Soccer Coaches Hall of Fame enjoyed lengthy and distinguished careers, not only as winning coaches, but coaches enriching the lives of players while serving the greater good of the game,” United Soccer Coaches president Kevin Smims said in a statement. “The stellar collection of inductees into the Hall of Fame is enhanced greatly by the presence of legends Joe Palone, Sigi Schmid, and Horst Richardson.”
Schmid began his coaching career at the youth level in Los Angeles in the mid-1970s before becoming an assistant coach at his alma mater, UCLA, in 1977. He took over as head coach of the Bruins in 1980 and amassed 322 wins over a 19-year tenure that saw UCLA capture three national championships. His .810 collegiate winning percentage is the sixth best mark in NCAA Division I history.
He became head coach of the LA Galaxy in 1999, beginning a long and successful career at the top level of American soccer. His MLS coaching career saw stints with the Galaxy (1999-2004), Columbus Crew (2006-08), Seattle Sounders (2009-16) and a second run with the Galaxy (2017-18). He won the 2002 MLS Cup title with the Galaxy and captured the 2008 title with Columbus. He compiled 240 regular season wins during that time and reached the MLS Cup Playoffs 13 times, recording 28 playoff wins. He is one of two coaches in MLS history to lead two different teams to MLS Cup titles. His teams won three MLS Supporters’ Shields, five U.S. Open Cups and he was twice named MLS Coach of the Year. The league renamed the award the Sigi Schmid Coach of the Year Award in 2019.
Palone served as head coach at the U.S. Military Academy from 1947-54 and again from 1958-78, compiling a 226-80-37 record, good enough for a .713 winning percentage. He spent 36 years at West Point, including 29 as the men’s varsity soccer coach. He led Army to 10 NCAA Tournament berths, including four semifinal appearances. Twenty-two of his players earned All-America recognition. He registered 26 winning seasons in his 29 years as head coach, including two unbeaten campaigns in 1950 and 51. His teams still hold the Army record for longest winning streak at 14 games spanning the 1950-51 seasons.
Richardson was the head men’s soccer coach at Colorado College for 50 years, where he compiled a 567-304-71 record, a .640 winning percentage. His 567 wins were the third most in NCAA Division III and the sixth most in all divisions of the NCAA at the time of his retirement in 2014. He led the Tigers to seven conference championships, 19 NCAA Tournament appearances and a spot in the national semifinals in 1992.
A five-time United Soccer Coaches Regional Coach of the Year, Richardson was the recipient of the 2017 Honor Award. He received a Letter of Commendation in 1997 and won the 2001 Bill Jeffrey College Long-Term Service Award.