The Seattle Sounders FC "struck gold" by hiring Sigi Schmid
as coach, writes Steve Kelley. "Short of stealing Sir Alex Ferguson
from Manchester United,
they couldn't have done much better." For how many expansion teams get to hire their league's reigning coach of the year?
"He's got good ideas about the game,
solid ideas, but he'll also have that little magic idea, something else that can turn a team around," said Seattle Sounders alum Jimmy Gabriel
. "When I used to talk
with Sigi, I always came away thinking, 'OK, I think I'll try that'."
Sounders FC technical director Chris Henderson
, who played for Schmid at UCLA,
said that "passionate would be the word for him. He can be an emotional guy. Definitely after winning he gets emotional. But also if there are times when he has to get on the team or on a player
to motivate them, he'll let you know that, too. I always felt like if I wanted to talk with Sigi I could walk into his office and talk with him about anything. That's the kind of relationship
he creates with the guys. He creates a bond with the players."
He recalled UCLA players occasionally soaking Schmid in Gatorade at the end of practice, and "sometimes he was
not happy about it. Those are just the things that bring a team together. He was still the coach and we respected that, of course, but we had that relationship with him where we felt like we could
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