The biggest part of American football is tied to US national teams – Tony DiCicco, Velibor "Bora" Milutinovic, Pia Sundhage, Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena. For decades, the US had no club success for decades. World Championships were decisive. But Sigi Schmid climbed into this pantheon, a mortal who rose to the level of the gods with tremendous success at UCLA, the LA Galaxy, the Columbus Crew SC and the Seattle Sounders. His trophy case is full. His total profit is unrivaled. Sigi died on Christmas Day 2018; His influence on US football is immortal.
The news came on the day his first professional club was taken over by the man who defined most Sigi's second club (Guillermo Barros Scheletto takes over the galaxy). This could be one of the best symbols of Sigi's influence on the MLS and football in America. GBS is the newest coach in North America, either playing for Schmid or training with him. This list of only the pro coaches and general managers who belong to Schmid's coaching tree is immense. A selection of these persons;
Greg Vanney ̵
- Robin Fraser – Played under Sigi 1999-2000, head coach of Chivas USA 2011 -2012. Currently Assistant to VFC at TFC
- Robert Warzycha – Assistant to Sigi in Columbus 2006-2008, Head Coach of Columbus 2009-2013, Currently Trainer in Poland
- Brad Friedel – Played for Sigi at UCLA 1990-1993, USMNT legend , current head coach for the New England Revolution
- Guillermo Barros Schelotto – Played for Sigi 2007-2008, Coached Lanus, Boca Juniors and now the Galaxy
- Peter Vagenas – Played for Sigi 2000-2004 and 2009-2010, former GM LA Galaxy
- Brian Schmetzer – First assistant under Sigi 2009-2016, now coach of Seattle Sounders
- Tom Dutra – Goalkeeper Coach with Seattle Sounders
- Chris Henderson – Played for Sigi at UCLA and Columbus, Sporting Director of Sigi with Sounders
- Pat Noonan – Philadelphia Union Assistant Coach
- Matt Reis – LA Galaxy, USMNT Assistant Coach
- Craig Waibel – General Secretary for Real Salt Lake
- Chris Albright (TD for the Union)
- Ante Razov – assistant coach for LAFC
- Tyrone Marshall – assistant coach for Real Salt Lake
- Djimi Traore – assistant coach for Seattle Sounders
- Gonzalo Pineda – assistant coach for Seattle Sounders
The legacy of Sigi Schmid is of course widespread in the world of American football. In fact, the world of American football would not exist without Schmid. A training Titan on all levels of the game, from college to pro, his fingerprints cover the globe. From Buenos Aires to Toronto. From Seattle to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. From the players on the field to the executives in the cat seats, almost every team in Sigi's Major League Soccer has trained.
Sigi's coaching career began when he took over the reign of UCLA in 1980. Over nearly two decades, Schmid won over 300 games, won three college cups and coached scores of players who would later become American men's national team stars. Some of these players were Brad Friedel, Eric Wynalda and Cobi Jones.
After his unbelievable success in the Kollegialrängen Schmid used the latest American professional football league, Major League Soccer. He was hired as head coach of the LA Galaxy in mid-1999, where he led them to the MLS Cup final, but by D.C. United was defeated. Sigi would leave LA in 2004 after winning an MLS Cup, a Supporters' Shield and a Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Sigi would leave the galaxy to move to Columbus. There he would win another MLS Cup and Supporters' Shield.
Sigi will always have a special place in the hearts of fans of Seattle Sounders. Schmid was appointed in December 2008, the first head coach of the club MLS. After a successful season with the Columbus Crew he won the Supporters' Shield and the MLS Cup. In his first season with the Seattle Sounders, he led the club to their first Lamar Hunt US Open Cup victory and their first MLS Cup playoff spot. At that time, Schmid & the Sounders was the first expansion team in MLS to do such a feat in a decade when Chicago Fire won the Open Cup and MLS Cup in 1998. At this time, Schmid left the Sounders in the summer of 2016, he had once won the Supporters' Shield and four times the US Open Cup.
Looking back at Sigi's statistical heritage, one can gloss over the success he has experienced. He has won many games. And I mean a lot . And also trophies. But how he did these things could be lost over time. Wherever he went, he was followed by the philosophy of attacking Sigi football. If you put together a list of the best MLS teams by season, the Sigi teams from LA Galaxy 2002, Columbus Crew 2008 and Seattle Sounders from 2014 would definitely be on this list. Of course, a consistent theme for all of his teams was how they would attack, but they were also solid in the background. He trained the MLS Defender of the Year four times with three different teams. Carlos Ruiz and Guillermo Barros Schelotto won their MVP prizes and were the point of attack for Sigi teams. We have seen the rise of Fredy Montero and Cobi Jones under Sigi. And in 2014, the Seattle Sounders from Sigi put together one of the best regular offensive season run by Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey. The list of talented players trained by Sigi is almost infinite.
You can not open a door in an MLS front office or in a locker room without seeing anyone under the influence of Sigis Coaching who has a football culture. – Mark Kastner
The men who lost their trainers at Christmas 2018 go into social media. A list of all instructions would produce a document several thousand pages long. These include some of America's largest, our captains, our voices. The statements show what this man means not only as a coach.
Its effects on the players' career include some of the youngest in America and forgotten in America.
Sigi believed in me when most of the others had given up. His successful career and his unwavering passion for the game will remain unrivaled. My deepest condolences to his entire extended family. They are very missing. Sig pic.twitter.com/AqDKZ6l2vI
– Stefan Frei (@ Stefan24Frei) December 27, 2018
The collection of memories of those who now play in American football are college players  I'm glad I saw him this year when they came to Houston to play Houston. When my eldest Bella was born, this cheerleading outfit was a gift from Sigi and Val. Bella insisted on putting it on today. #RIPSigi pic.twitter.com/VbanShLcf0
– Diego Bocanegra (@ Diego13Boca) December 27, 2018
Former and current masters of the Sounders shared their thoughts and memories.
Losses affect you in different ways. This hurts enormously. Can not Believe It So influential to me and really the reason why I am here today. Many Thanks. https://t.co/25CT8YHgxA[19459003-BradEvans(@brad_evans3) December 27, 2018
Very sad and devastated for this news. Sigi was a great coach and an even better person. He was like a father to me, he believed in me, trusted me and stayed with me for many years. His inheritance will always be there, my condolences to the entire Schmid family. Thank you forever pic.twitter.com/XZxAsCABd3
– Osvaldo Alonso (@OzzieAlonso) December 27, 2018
Arlo and Ross, former voices of the Sounders, cradled each other.
RIP Sigi. A talismanic figure in US football. His stewardship of @SoundersFC was masterful – he maintained a friendly and open attitude despite his pressure. I will always be grateful for facilitating my professional career in @MLS . A huge loss.
– Ross Fletcher (@ RossFletcher1) December 27, 2018
But Sigi Schmid is not someone who is being honored by the famous man. His influence goes beyond that. Sigi defined football in LA, Columbus and Seattle. Among the people whose lives he touched, there are also employees in these organizations.
Schmid greeted us all. The massive accumulation of news from players, coaches, and colleagues is a symbol of what he meant in the United States, but his stories were personal too, and those of us who write for Sounder at Heart.
"I'll always do it, be grateful for Sigi's consummate professionalism. Sigi always answered a fair question, no matter how hard it was. The tactical knowledge he provided in answering conceptual questions miraculously deepened people's knowledge of the game to anyone who listened to it.
I'll always remember when Sigi and the club split in 2016 to invite the beat writers who covered the club for drinks. In a table down in Pioneer Square, 12 surplus reporters crowded in and conducted an open and open discussion with a football legend in the US about any subject under the sun, from the Sounders to what the US would need to win the US world Championship.
When it was time to withdraw money, Sigi had already collected the entire check because he naturally had it. That was Sigi. Always class. "- Andrew Harvey
" I met Sigi Schmid on the job on my first day, covering the Seattle Sounders for Sounders at Heart. I do not know if he could say how nervous I was. Not that I remember the questions I asked, or even what his answers were, but I remember seeing the qualities I saw throughout the entire time that our terms overlapped would. Above all, Sigi was always patient, kind, honest and professional to all journalists, from ESPN experts who came in once or twice a season, to the young people who came to each training session and asked the same questions he asked probably had heard a thousand times.
That does not mean he was not frustrated or angry. By the time I discussed the club with Sigi on the pack, his last days were in Seattle. I still remember the angry face he made every time someone asked about the injury of a player he was clearly not allowed to discuss on the record. But we had to ask, even though we knew he was going to make that face and tell us he could not say anything, and he never beat or blamed anyone.
Sigi respected the role of the media to share important information with fans across the board, but he also showed more than once that he respected me and the other reporters as individual journalists. He would tell us if he would like something we wrote about him or the club – and he would tell us if he did not. That was a real respect, and it made me a better journalist to receive feedback and interaction from someone so highly regarded in American football.
Of course, my recent interactions with Sigi were not the happiest. When the 2016 season seemed to be in free-fall and he parted ways with the club, I was saddened that Sigi had gone sour after such a successful career in Seattle. For the local media, it was almost worse when we were kicked out of his farewell party. We could not say goodbye and have a final interview with someone we talked to almost every day, no matter how long we had visited the club. But after all we had gone through with him that year, a man like Sigi respected us too much to put an end to it. He let the club reach everyone and invited us for a beer before leaving the city. It was an incredible afternoon that gave us stories and genuine thoughts that Sigi was as excited about as we wanted to listen to. Many of his words and tales of that day have been with me ever since.
I will remember Sigi Schmid when a man owed an almost infinite respect that never hesitated to show so much to the people around him. from fans to players to journalists. He showed me immense professional respect when I felt I did not deserve it, something that really helped me find my feet as a young reporter. I am forever grateful for that. "- Spenser Davis
This American football god saw the sky in October 2012. It was your gift to him that made him praise him, almost collapse, and then talk about how great football has become in Seattle and the United States.
They showed him love and he loved you back.
I was there with him, watching as Roman Torres punched in the ultimate punishment and looked to see the strangest expression of agony and ecstasy on Sigi's face. Ecstasy, because this was the club he'd built up for their MLS years. He lived in Seattle for a decade. His son was still working for the team. This was the club run by his friend Brian Schmetzer, who had known Sigi for decades and had been his right-hand man for almost ten years. These were the players he designed and signed and recruited and managed.
Agony, because he looked at the fans … "* &% #", said Schmid and then again. There was an unmistakable redness in his eyes. "I wanted to give this to them. I wanted to give them that bad. "
This is the Sigi Schmid, whom I honored in my honor. Like many of our stories about Sigi Schmid, my moment with him was soon after he and the Seattle Sounders split up. He went to Fuel to meet the Emerald City Supporters. I had to catch a bus, so I was not at Fuel or the event for the Beat reporters. My full-time employment kept me from practicing more than a few times a month, but luckily I saw Sigi that day.
Our chat was brief, but I remember two things;
- I apologized for asking so many questions. He told me that he appreciated that I always wanted to learn something.
- His wife said to me, "I've heard so much about you."
I cried home tonight on the bus ride. I could not imagine Sigi talking about me or Sounder at Heart. But that's exactly what he did. Where Brian Schmetzer was a friend, Sigi was always the strict German father who trained us all.
He touched so many of us.
There are only three coaches in the National Hall of Fame USA Soccer Federation. Sigi Schmid is not a coach. Tony DiCocco is accompanied by the two men who could compete for the title of "best coach in MLS history" in a competition with Sigi. Bruce Arena and Bob Bradley are both coaches.
Sigi Schmid was chosen as a master builder. There are many reasons for that. His influence, like the influence of every coach, goes beyond the pitch. It was a respected voice around the world. He was a man who could meet with Arsene Wenger and just talk tactics. He was a man respected in Germany and Spain, so much so that teammates from players who had signed with Seattle spoke of Sigi.
When he was elected to the hall, Schmid shot one shot at Caleb Porter with one of his many former players, but it was also a kind of praise, because Porter did what Schmid did, leaving the pros to the university dominate. Even in the rivalry there was praise.
The Hall of Fame has no inner hall. It does not need any. Those who leave will be told by Bruce, Bob, Tony and Sigi. They are not just an inner hall. They are the Titans. There will be American football gods who will one day abuse them, but these are the Titans, without whom there are no two generations of football. They brought us out of the dark place and gave us light.
But his heritage is not. The legacy of Sigi Schmid leads German football to America. It is the college powerhouse of the West. His legacy of the galaxy, the crew and the Sounders. His heirs are players scattered throughout the world who have learned from him and from those who have learned from him.
Schmid's heritage is a deep-rooted footballing family that taught him who he could be. His legacy is branches of a tree that are moving towards an American and MLS future that will always be looking up.
Siegfried "Sigi" Schmid's Legacy and Hope is a Seattle Sounders fanbase that fills the full capacity of CenturyLink Field, not a sell-out in name, but because every seat is sold. His legacy is in trophy cases across the country.
It's a heritage hanging on the rafters of our stadium and its name belongs to Chuck Knox. Sigi Schmid is one of us. He is Seattle. He is a sonar. It was an honor to call him a coach for almost eight years. His story is legend.
Siegfried "Sigi" Schmid died on Christmas Day 2018, but his game lives on.