On April 24, 1999, Sigi Schmid guided the LA Galaxy to a 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes for his first win as a Major League Soccer head coach.
In the final match of the 2009 season, the Sounders FC head coach became the winningest coach in Major League Soccer history when he notched his 125th career win with a 2-1 win over FC Dallas at CenturyLink Field.
In the two seasons since, he has added 25 to that total to become the first coach in league history to breach the 150-win mark with a dramatic 2-1 comeback win over Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.
“150 wins is a tremendous achievement in our league. I’m proud to be associated with him,” Sounders FC owner/general manager Adrian Hanauer said. “He should be very proud. It speaks to the consistency, the character, the mentality and the competitiveness of Sigi.”
That competitiveness drives him to scout videos well into the night, often e-mailing his coaching staff at late-night hours when he’s spotted something that could be useful.
That is what Ezra Hendrickson learned quickly after he took the post as assistant coach with the Sounders.
He had played for Schmid for four seasons with the LA Galaxy and three more with the Columbus Crew before retiring after the 2008 season. That included MLS Cup wins in 2002 and 2008, a US Open Cup in 2001 and the CONCACAF Champions Cup in 2000. In three out of four seasons with the Galaxy, Schmid coached them to the MLS Cup Finals. They have only been back twice since.
“He’s so adamant about what he wants to do and the players buy into it. That’s why he’s been so successful,” Hendrickson said. “If there’s one thing about a Sigi Schmid team, it’s always going to be a well-prepared team. He’s the hardest working coach that I’ve ever played for.”
While Hendrickson praised his work ethic, Hanauer used another word to describe him – modest.
Never was that more clear than after he reached the 150-win milestone.
Schmid’s continued success with the Sounders leaves the future looking bright for the club. In only their third season, the Sounders already have two Open Cup titles and are in the semifinals this season. They are also one of only four teams to reach the MLS Cup playoffs in 2009 and 2010 and are the first expansion team to reach the playoffs in their first two seasons.
Earlier this season, his contract was extended to keep him in Seattle for the foreseeable future.
“It was absolutely the right decision to hire him back in 2009,” Hanauer said. “I’m very excited that we’ve extended the contract of the winningest coach in MLS and I hope he gets to 200 coaching for the Sounders.”
Most Victorious Coaches In MLS History
1. Sigi Schmid, 150-108-82
2. Bob Bradley, 124-94-54
3. Bruce Arena, 122-72-39
4. Steve Nicol, 111-102-77
5. Dominic Kinnear, 94-65-78