It's not just the fact that he grew up in California that will make this weekend's return to the state for MLS Cup so special for Columbus Crew Coach Sigi Schmid. There's also the fact that the game
will be played in Carson at the home stadium of the team -- the L.A. Galaxy -- that fired him when it was top of the standings.
"Having been raised in L.A. and having the L.A. Galaxy be the
first [MLS] team that I coached -- that's always going to be a place that's special to me," Schmid told Nick Green. "Obviously in my dreams I was hoping I was going to have a tenure with the Galaxy
sort of like [Alex] Ferguson at Manchester United or [Arsene] Wenger at Arsenal. But that's not the way it turned out."
Schmid admitted that "being from L.A. it's special coming back
to L.A. with the chance to win this thing in that stadium. It's obviously very close to my heart. It would be a tremendous thrill. I'm not going to deny that in any sense of the word." His striker
Alejandro Moreno, who also played for Schmid at the Galaxy, knows what it means for his coach.
"We know it's special and we know he's a California guy," said Moreno. "I think what's
special is that I was in L.A. when Sigi got fired and probably at the time I thought it was wrong and even now I thought it was wrong and even with the Galaxy having won the MLS Cup after that I still
think it was wrong." Even Alexi Lalas, former Galaxy GM, weighed in with some spiritual-philosophical observations: "I am nothing if not a believer in karma and that you are rewarded for your efforts
over a period of time."
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