MLS: Sigi Schmid named new L.A. Galaxy coach

The Los Angeles Galaxy has relieved Octavio Zambrano of his duties as head coach and named U.S. U-20 national team and UCLA coach Sigi Schmid as its new head coach. "After extensive review and analysis, I feel it is in this club's best interest to make a head coaching change," said Los Angeles GM Sergio del Prado. "We have all the necessary elements to be an excellent and exciting team, but we've had trouble putting it all together. We have more than half a season remaining and we plan on being a force into the playoffs." Zambrano became the second coach in team history succeeding Lothar Osiander on June 10, 1997, after being hired as an assistant on December 8, 1996. The 41-year old Zambrano finished with an overall record of 39-18 (.684), including two postseason appearances in 1997 and 1998 (2-4). "We are grateful to Octavio for his contributions to the team and the community over the last three and a half years," said Galaxy president Tim Leiweke. "Likewise, we would like to wish him well in his future endeavors." Schmid, 46, comes to the Galaxy after serving the last 19 years as head coach of the UCLA Bruins. During his tenure at UCLA, Schmid compiled a 322-63-33 (.810) record while leading the squad to 16 consecutive postseason appearances, including NCAA Championships in 1985, 1990 and 1997. "We really like Sigi and think that he fits well with this team," added Leiweke. "He has extensive coaching credentials and has proven to be a winner everywhere that he has coached, including the recent great performance of the U.S. Under-20's in the FIFA World Youth Championships held in Nigeria." Having already served U.S. Soccer in several capacities including as an assistant to Bora Milutinovic's 1994 World Cup coaching staff, Schmid was appointed U.S. Under-20 national team coach in January 1998. Schmid guided the team through COCACAF qualifying and into the FIFA World Youth Championships. The Under-20's advanced to the round of 16, posting a 2-2 record including wins over England and Cameroon before being eliminated by Spain. Galaxy assistant coach Ralph Perez will serve as interim head coach for Saturday's game against San Jose, but Schmid will immediately join the Galaxy in preparation for that match.
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