Changing of the coaching guard

[MLS PLAYOFFS: Making a List] Thursday's exit of the LA Galaxy, coached by Bruce Arena, and the Seattle Sounders, coached by Sigi Schmid, marked a changing of the guard. For the first time since 2007, neither of the deans of MLS coaches will be coaching a team in the MLS conference finals. And for the first time ever, all four conference finalists are coached by former MLS players.

Arena and Schmid have coached in 10 MLS Cups and won six MLS Cups between them. In addition, Arena or Schmid or both coached in the MLS final four 12 of the league's first 17 seasons.

Arena/Schmid in MLS Final Four:
YEAR COACH (TEAM/FINISH)
1996: Arena (D.C. United MLS champion)
1997: Arena (D.C. United MLS champion)
1998: Arena (D.C. United MLS runner-up)
1999: Schmid (LA Galaxy MLS runner-up)
2000: Schmid (LA Galaxy conf. runner-up)
2001: Schmid (LA Galaxy MLS runner-up)
2002: Schmid (LA Galaxy MLS champion)
2008: Schmid (Columbus MLS champion)
2009: Arena (LA Galaxy MLS runner-up)
2009: Arena (LA Galaxy conf. runner-up)
2011: Arena (LA Galaxy MLS champion)
2012: Arena (LA Galaxy MLS champion)
2012: Schmid (Seattle conf. runner-up)

Of this year's 10 MLS playoff teams, seven are coached by former MLS players. Four of them are coaching for the first time in the playoffs: Caleb Porter (Portland), Mike Petke (New York), Jay Heaps (New England) and Oscar Pareja (Colorado)

MLS Coaches (MLS Playing Experience)
GP COACH (2013 TEAM)
314 Jay Heaps (New England Revolution)
307 Mike Petke (New York Red Bulls)
305 Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake)
221 Ben Olsen (D.C. United)
189 Oscar Pareja (Colorado Rapids)
184 Peter Vermes ( Sporting KC)
117 Dominic Kinnear (Houston Dynamo)
89 Frank Klopas (Chicago Fire)
81 Ryan Nelsen (Toronto FC)
50 Brian Bliss Columbus Crew, interim)
29 Mark Watson (San Jose Earthquakes, interim)
4 Caleb Porter (Portland Timbers)
0 Jose Luis Real (Chivas USA)
0 Schellas Hyndman (FC Dallas)
0 Bruce Arena (Los Angeles Galaxy)
0 Marco Schallibaum (Montreal Impact)
0 John Hackworth (Philadelphia Union)
0 Sigi Schmid (Seattle Sounders)
0 Martin Rennie (Vancouver Whitecaps)
(Coaches in bold reached the 2013 playoffs.

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