The Major League Soccer Coach of the Year award will now be named after the late Sigi Schmid, the league announced Friday.
Schmid passed away on Christmas Day at the age of 65, leaving behind a legacy as one of the United States’ soccer coaching greats.
“Sigi was an important part of our league from the very early years in our history, and he had a significant impact on everyone he touched throughout his life and coaching career,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “While he will be remembered by many in the soccer community for his success on the field, it was his kindness and his great qualities as a father, husband and mentor that made him such a special person.”
The German-born Schmid won three national championships at UCLA, where he played from 1972-75, during a tenure that lasted from 1980-99.
During that period, Schmid was also was an assistant for the United States national team during the 1994 World Cup.
Schmid would move to Major League Soccer in 1999, taking over the LA Galaxy, where he would win an MLS Cup in 2002.
Schmid also won an MLS Cup during a three-year run as the head coach of the Columbus Crew, taking home the title in 2008.
He would next become the manager of the Seattle Sounders for their debut season in the league in 2009 and stayed with the club until being fired midway through the 2016 season.
Schmid made one more stop in his coaching career as he returned to the Galaxy midseason to replace Curt Onalfo in 2017. He would last just over a year in the role, resigning in September 2018 with the Galaxy struggling in the hunt for the MLS postseason.
Overall, Schmid won 240 games in the MLS regular season, added 26 victories in the postseason and is MLS’s all-time winningest coach.
He also won five U.S. Open Cups, four coming in Seattle and one with the Galaxy in 2001, and three Supporters’ Shield for the best record in the league, one with each of the three MLS clubs he managed.
Schmid won the award that will be named after him twice – in 2002 and 2008, the years he won the MLS Cup.
The announcement of the named of the award was made just prior to the MLS SuperDraft, where UCLA midfielder Frankie Amaya was taken No.1 overall by expansion team FC Cincinnati.