MLS Focus: Sigi Schmid resigns in wake of latest LA Galaxy collapse


Seattle Sounders FC photo

For the second season in a row, the LA Galaxy's head coach is gone before the end of the regular season.

In just MLS's second performance-related coaching change in 2018, Sigi Schmid, the winningest coach in league history, stepped down as head coach on Monday. The move comes 13 months after he replaced Curt Onalfo, who was fired 20 games into his first season as head coach.

Dominic Kinnear, who lead the Houston Dynamo to MLS titles in 2006 and 2007 and has been an assistant at the Galaxy since losing his job as head coach at San Jose last season, will finish the 2018 season as interim head coach.

The Galaxy seemed to have turned a corner after a last-place finish in 2017.  It headed into the MLS All-Star Game with a nine-game unbeaten streak and was just one point behind second-place LAFC after a wild 4-3 win over Orlando City on July 29 in a match that featured a hat trick from Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

But even that game exposed the Galaxy's deficiencies. Its defense has continuously leaked soft goals -- its 54 goals allowed are the second most in MLS -- and it could not rely on Ibra to always rescue it.

Ibra did not go to the All-Star Game, serving a mandatory one-game suspension in the next game. The Galaxy lost, 2-1, at Colorado and has not won since. It is still at .500 with a 10-10-8 record, but it has dropped to eighth place, three points behind the surging Seattle Sounders in sixth place.

Two years ago, Schmid was dismissed as the Seattle head coach in late July, and Sounders, who had a 6-12-2 record at the time, came back to make the MLS playoffs and win their first MLS Cup, under Brian Schmetzer.

With only six games left, the Galaxy's chances of making the 2018 playoffs are slim. It has played two more games than the Sounders, winners of an MLS-record eight games in a row.

The Galaxy was 6-10-4 when Onalfo was fired in 2017, and it went 2-8-4 under Schmid to finish last in the overall MLS standings and miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008, David Beckham's first full season with the Galaxy.

Bruce Arena, who took over in mid-season in 2008, led the Galaxy to MLS Cup appearances in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014 and titles in 2011, 2012 and 2014 but stepped down after the 2016 season to become the U.S. men's national team head coach.

Schmid, 65, was coaching the Galaxy for the second time. After a stellar career at UCLA, he became the Galaxy coach in 1999. He won MLS Cup 2002 with the Galaxy and MLS Cup 2008 with Columbus, and leaves the Galaxy with 266 wins across MLS regular and post-season play.

8 comments about "MLS Focus: Sigi Schmid resigns in wake of latest LA Galaxy collapse".
  1. John Polis, September 10, 2018 at 9 p.m.

    What's the deal? I can't find any comments from Sigi anywhere. Was he pushed out? Why did he resign? Was it related to health? This guy's a big personality in the United States and it seems like some would know someone would know him well enough to have a word with him for an interview. Hoping someone from Soccer America contacts him.

  2. beautiful game, September 10, 2018 at 9:36 p.m.

    JP, here's the deal. Sigi started his coaching decline a year before he quit Columbus. That decline kept gaining ground with the Sounders. LA Galaxy did not do its due diligence before hiring Sigi and it was a matter of time before management had to admit its own colossal casino like blind bet. You are correct that Sigi was a big personality and that was because he was winning a long time ago. Hope you get your wish about Sigi's interview. in the end, it's all about winning and losing. 

  3. Ric Fonseca replied, September 10, 2018 at 9:55 p.m.

    Mr. bg, only and unless you've worn the same coaching shoes as Sigi, it is very difficult to surmise or even mutter such a reason.  In as much as I've followed his career, indeed he did a helluva job at our alma mater, UCLA, the Carson Galaxy, and then Columbus abd Seattle. As any coach worth his/her salt is worth and can tell you, coaching can only last so long, or a number of years before the coaching game starts wearing on you.  As for management within the Carson Galaxy, when Lieweekly left, the owners just didn't know what to do, yet it is very suspect to note that those they selected to run the front office ought to find another team as their positions have soured just as much and have placed the organization in jeopardy, though I would not pur it past some of the over paid players - will not name them - may have had some say in exerting pressure for Sigi to step away.    

  4. Ric Fonseca, September 10, 2018 at 9:47 p.m.

    John, I've known Sigi since he first stepped on UCLA as a freshman in 1971 and have followed his career as both player, coach, and most importantly a friend.  Now I've not spoken to him, as I just read this piece, but can probably surmise that it is a combination of being tired, the ever and unending politics of coaching at this level, and probably heat from management, and yes probably his health which is more important than being the head honcho of the Carson Galaxy.  Lastly, all I can say is that he's been one helluva trooper coming back for a second stint with the Carson Galaxy, yet I can say he's probably giving a very deep sigh of relief.  So to my gut freund, mi gran amigo, relax and take a long vacation.  Thank you and all the very best!!!

  5. Ginger Peeler, September 11, 2018 at 4:37 a.m.

    Ric, thanks for the lovely testimonial for Sigi. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. Gracias, mi amigo. 

  6. Bob Ashpole, September 11, 2018 at 6:08 a.m.

    Sigi doesn't owe the public any explanations.

    Mr. bg, it ought to be obvious to you that bad coaching was not the Galaxy's problem.

    Ric, very well said. 

  7. frank schoon, September 11, 2018 at 9:43 a.m.

    This is not on Sigi. I think Sigi agreed to take over the job during mid-season to help out the Galaxy an already weak team/coach which is really due to poor decision making at the top.
    Galaxy is the flagship of soccer, let us say, representing the West Coast. I think the flagship on the East coast is Atlanta, and NY teams.
    If the Galaxy was serious they would not have chosen a light weight like Curt Anolfo, with all due respect. This is "the" LA Galaxy and that team deserves a real good coach on the level of a Tata of Atlanta United. Next Sigi never had a chance for the front office should have improved the defensive backfield which is awful; and that is on Klein, PERIOD!!!
    Galaxy made a good move in obtaining Zlatan as a continuation of obtaining another big European star, AN OFFENSIVE ONE, to spear the attack and team, well done on that. 
    My suggestion,is to create a 5 year plan, bring in a good coach, good defenders, and begin to look for another great Europen, offensive player, to be ready to fill Zlatan position when he leaves.....
    I do hope SA will interview Sigi, now that he is retiring, and let him vent out and give his opinions on the USMNT, Klinsman, Arena, Cordeiro, Player Development, Galaxy,etc......

  8. John Soares, September 11, 2018 at 1:09 p.m.

    Sigi owes no apologies. His career/results speak for themself. He has been a winner at every level and team. Yes LA is the exception, but look at what he inherited. Best of luck, whatever you choose to do.
    Galaxy is the flagship of west coast soccer??? People in Seattle might disagree and with good reason:)

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications