Sigi Schmid Named New U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team Head Coach
CHICAGO (Oct. 28, 2004) – Sigi Schmid has been named the new head coach of the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team. Schmid takes over the U.S. U-20s as the team begins their final preparations for competition at the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament from January 12-16, 2005, as they attempt to qualify for the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, which will be held in the Netherlands.
Oct. 29, 2004
The hiring marks Schmid’s second stint as the U.S. U-20 MNT head coach as he previously held the position in 1998-99, coaching the team during the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria. Schmid led the U.S. through a strong performance on the world stage as they finished second in Group E with two victories, a first for the U-20 program, and advanced to the Round of 16.
“I’m excited to return to U.S. Soccer as the Under-20 Men’s head coach,” said Schmid. “I had a wonderful experience coaching the team through the ’99 FIFA World Youth Championship and am looking forward to having the chance to continue the growth of U.S. Soccer.”
Schmid has had success at both the collegiate and professional level during his over 25 years of coaching experience. In five-plus seasons (1999-2004) with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer, Schmid compiled four trophies, winning the 2002 MLS Cup Championship and Supporters Shield, the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Championship and the 2000 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. In his first year with the Galaxy, Schmid was named the MLS Coach of the Year after leading the team to the top of the table in the West and advancing to the MLS Cup Final.
Prior to joining the Galaxy, Schmid spent 19 years as the head coach at UCLA (1980-99) where he compiled an impressive 322-63-33 (.810) record and led the Bruins to 16 consecutive postseason appearances, including three NCAA Championships (1985, ’90 and ’97).
“Sigi Schmid has been a part of the fabric of U.S. Soccer for many years,” said U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia. “We are obviously thrilled to bring him back into the fold as the head coach of the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team. His experience at every level of the game in the United States makes him ideally suited for this role, especially with such a short turnaround time for this team in advance of qualifying (in January) and the upcoming World Championship (in June).”
During the ’99 WYC with Schmid at the helm, the U.S. opened the tournament with a 1-0 victory over England before falling 3-1 to Japan, the eventual runner-up, and then rebounding to defeat Cameroon 3-1 in the critical final group match. Four days later, the U.S. bowed out of the tournament with a 3-2 loss to eventual tournament champion Spain.
The U.S. Under-20s will be attempting to qualify for their tenth overall and record fifth straight FIFA World Championship when they compete in Group A of the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament in January. The U.S. is scheduled to play Costa Rica, Panama and the winner of the Caribbean Zone Series 1 home-and-away series between Trinidad & Tobago and Cuba, which is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 26.
In Group B, all four teams are set as Honduras will host Canada, Mexico and Jamaica in Tegucigalpa from Jan. 26-30. The top two teams from each of the final groups will advance to 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands from June 10-July 2.
U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Head Coach
Born: March 20, 1953 in Tuebingen, West Germany
Hometown: Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Schmid is in his second term as the head coach of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team as he also held the position from 1998-99. In his first stint with the team, he led the U-20s to the Round of 16 at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria. Over the two-year span, Schmid compiled a 32-16-15 overall record with the Under-20s.
During the ’99 FIFA WYC, Schmid led the team through a remarkable performance on the world stage as they finished second in Group E with two victories, a first for the U-20 program, and advanced to the Round of 16. The U.S. opened the tournament with a 1-0 victory over England before falling 3-1 to Japan, the eventual runner-up, and then rebounding to defeat Cameroon 3-1 in the critical final group match. Four days later, the U.S. was the only team to score more than one goal on eventual tournament champion Spain, but ended up falling 3-2 in Port Harcourt.
Schmid had already served U.S. Soccer in numerous coaching capacities before taking over the U-20 MNT head coaching duties, including as an assistant on Bora Multinovic’s 1994 FIFA World Cup coaching staff. He also served in the early 1990s as a U.S. “B” Team coach and guided teams at the ’91 World University Games and ’95 U.S. Pan American Games.
Before coming back to U.S. Soccer, the 51-year-old Schmid took over the reins of the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer five games into the 1999 season. At the end of the season, Schmid was named the MLS Coach of the Year after turning the club around and leading the team to a first place finish in the West.
During his five-plus years with the Galaxy, he led the team to the top spot in the West three times (including winning the Supporters Shield in 2002) and to three MLS Cup final appearances, winning the title in 2002. He also led the Galaxy to two other titles, winning the 2001 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the 2000 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. Schmid’s 16 MLS Cup playoff victories rank first all-time among MLS coaches, while his .579 regular season winning percentage ranks fifth among those who have coached at least half of a season. His 79 regular season victories also rank fifth all-time.
Schmid is also recognized as one of the most successful collegiate coaches of all time, accumulating a 322-63-33 (.810) record in 19 seasons at UCLA from 1980-99. During that time, the Bruins won three NCAA Division I National Championships and amassed a streak of 16 consecutive NCAA post-season appearances.
Schmid helped groom a number of UCLA players to success at the highest levels of soccer in the world, with numerous Bruin alumni going on to play for the full U.S. Men’s National Team and in the professional ranks here in the U.S. and overseas. Paul Caligiuri, Cobi Jones, Carlos Bocanegra and Brad Friedel are just a few of the UCLA players Schmid helped develop during his tenure.
Schmid has made his mark in soccer history in the United States, not only as a coach, but also as a player. He had a successful career at UCLA as a four-year starter at midfield from 1972-75, before serving as UCLA's assistant in 1977 and 1979 and taking over the program in 1980.
In 1996, he was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame as one of the first members of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) and just this past October he was inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame.
A Certified Public Accountant, Schmid graduated from UCLA in 1976 with a B.S. degree in economics. He earned his M.A. in Business Administration from USC. Born Siegfried Schmid in Tuebingen, West Germany, on March 20, 1953, he moved with his family to Torrance, Calif., in 1962. He currently lives with his wife Valerie in Manhattan Beach, Calif. He has four children, Erik, Lacey, Kurt, and Kyle.