CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy introduced new head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto on Thursday afternoon, but not without first paying respect to former head coach Sigi Schmid, who passed away on Christmas Day.
“We lost someone that was very important to us, important to our club and important to the sport of soccer in this country: Sigi Schmid,” LA Galaxy president Chris Klein said to open the press conference. “We wouldn’t be here today, with the sport where it is in this country today, without someone like Sigi. He was a pioneer. He was someone that blazed a trail, not only in college soccer but in professional soccer, with some of our youth national teams.”
Schmid was also an influential person for the Galaxy’s new coach. Schmid was coaching the Columbus Crew when he brought Schelotto from Argentine club Boca Juniors to play Major League Soccer in 2007. The two went on to bring Columbus its first MLS Cup in 2008, and Schelotto won the league’s Most Valuable Player award and MLS Cup MVP that same year.
“I want to make a special mention of Sigi, too, because he brought me here, when I spent time playing [with] the Columbus Crew,” Schelotto said. “I want to say thank you, very much. He was very important for me when I came here. Not just for soccer things, he helped me a lot for human things. So, I want to say thank you very much, Sigi Schmid.”