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Sigi Schmid has passed away at age 65

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The Sounders’ first head coach of the MLS era leaves behind a massive legacy in US soccer

Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers: Photos Mike Russell/Sounder at Heart

In a statement made through the Seattle Sounders, the family of Sigi Schmid has announced that the former Sounders head coach passed away on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 in Los Angeles. He was 65.

The family’s full statement:

On Tuesday, December 25, Sigi Schmid passed away at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles due to a personal health matter. Our family is deeply saddened by his passing and is taking this time to grieve the loss of a tremendous husband, father, leader and mentor. We also recognize how much Sigi meant to so many people across the U.S. Soccer landscape and around the world at different levels of the game. That community meant a great deal to him as well, and for that reason, it was important to us that we share the news of his passing. While we mourn his loss, we appreciate privacy during this challenging time and will not be issuing further statements. In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family asks to please consider a memorial gift to support the men’s soccer program at UCLA, Sigi’s alma mater. Donations in memory of Sigi may be directed to the attention of Emily Lerner of UCLA Athletics at 310-206-3302 or elerner@athletics.ucla.edu.

Schmid was the first head coach for Seattle Sounders FC upon entering Major League Soccer in 2009, a post he held until he parted ways with the club halfway through the 2016 season. He helped the club secure four US Open Cup trophies and the MLS Supporters Shield in 2014, having already won two MLS Cups, two Supporters Shields, and a US Open Cup while coaching the LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew. Prior to his MLS coaching career, Schmid also secured three NCAA championships as head coach of the UCLA Bruins for nearly 20 years. Schmid currently holds the honor of winningest coach in MLS history with a 240-183-125 regular season record, and he was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2015.