Schmid named as coach of Seattle Sounders

December 16, 2008

SEATTLE -- Sigi Schmid was today named coach of the expansion Seattle Sounders, a move that comes less than a week after he resigned as coach of the MLS Cup-winning Columbus Crew.

Schmid ranks second in MLS career victories with 113, trailing only current United States national team coach Bob Bradley, who has 124 wins.

"We believe Sigi is a perfect fit for what Sounders FC sought in hiring its first head coach," Seattle majority owner Joe Roth said.

"Sigi is a proven champion in this league and beyond, with an extensive and impressive coaching resume, and a track record for getting the most out of his teams."

In October, Schmid declined a new contract with the Crew which would have made him one of the highest-paid coaches in the league.

"There are many reasons for me wanting to come to Seattle," he said. "First, I feel very comfortable with our management team. I believe we all want to play an entertaining, successful brand of soccer, and to make this a world-class franchise."

Under Schmid's guidance, the Crew won their first MLS Cup last month with a 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls.

In November, Schmid was named MLS Coach of the Year for a second time. He also won the award with the Los Angeles Galaxy in 1999, joining Bob Bradley as the only two-time winners.

Schmid, 55, also led the Galaxy to the title in 2002 before being fired two years later.

"Clearly, Sigi is a proven winner, and there are many reasons why success follows him," Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said. "He has a keen eye for talent and a knack for fitting those talents together to make an even stronger group. Players want to play for him."

In 10 years in the MLS, Schmid has a career mark of 113-76-48. Prior to joining the professional ranks, he spent 20 seasons as the coach at UCLA, guiding the Bruins to a record of 322-63-33.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press