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    Galaxy inducting legendary coach Sigi Schmid into Ring of Honor
    • October 13, 2023

    Greg Vanney remembers his first time meeting Sigi Schmid.

    “I was a little nervous around him,” Vanney said. “He had the aura and the name of a guy who had already been around the national team level, who had been coaching at UCLA for years, won championships and put out guys who were playing at the national team and pro level.

    “I was a little in awe of the stature of Sigi and all that he had accomplished. He could be very serious, no nonsense when he’s around the game, until you get to really know him and get into storytelling, then you get to know the heart of Sigi.”

    Vanney would eventually play under Schmid at UCLA (1993-95) and with the Galaxy (1999-2001).

    “He was a workhorse, who was passionate and loved the game,” Vanney said. “I know he left a huge imprint on all of us and those who came through his tutelage.”

    On Saturday, Schmid, who died in 2018, will officially be inducted into the Galaxy’s Ring of Honor at halftime of Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake (7:30 p.m., Apple TV+). The ceremony will arguably be the highlight for a game in which the Galaxy will be playing for pride, having been eliminated from MLS playoff contention Saturday.

    Schmid coached the Galaxy in two stints (1999-2004 and 2017-2018). He was the 1999 MLS Coach of the Year and led the Galaxy to the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup, 2001 U.S. Open Cup and the 2002 MLS Cup and Supporters Shield.

    Current Galaxy goalkeeping coach Kevin Hartman played under Schmid at UCLA and with the Galaxy, starting in 1994 until 20004.

    “I think players always like having systems and standards and being able to operate in something that allows them to grow as a player and person,” Hartman said. “I felt like players in the environment were always challenged, because everybody was super competitive.”

    Before taking over UCLA or the Galaxy, Schmid started his coaching career at Bishop Montgomery High in Torrance. To best describe his impact on the sport, Schmid is a member of the Bishop Montgomery, AYSO, UCLA and National Soccer halls of fame.

    “I know he was a big part of getting this place built,” Hartman said. “He was somebody that always stayed true to his roots and somebody that wanted to be a part of this community and really somebody that shared the ideals of what we felt like Southern California soccer was all about.”

    After leaving the Galaxy in 2004, Schmid coached the Columbus Crew (2006-2008) and the Seattle Sounders (2009-2016) before returning to the Galaxy in 2017.

    “It is nice to be back and nice to be able to coach where I don’t have to buy a house or rent something,” Schmid said on his first day back in 2017.

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    “It is sort of full circle. I remember my first interview with Phil Anschutz, watching a Kings game, talking about the possibility of leaving UCLA to come here. I’ve always been grateful and thankful to Phil and Tim Leiweke, who were the ones who brought me here. To be able to come back and work for the organization is really exciting.

    “I wanted to coach again. I haven’t had many losing seasons and I didn’t want to end on one. It means a lot to come back and to come back and coach in Los Angeles.”

    Real Salt Lake (13-12-7, 46 pts) at Galaxy (8-13-11, 35 pts)

    When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

    Where: Dignity Health Sports Park

    How to watch: Apple TV (free)

    ​ Orange County Register