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First-place Galaxy fire coach Schmid

Posted: Monday August 16, 2004 10:32PM; Updated: Monday August 16, 2004 10:47PM
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CARSON, California (Ticker) -- Leading his team to the best record in the MLS was not enough for Sigi Schmid to keep his job.

The Los Angeles Galaxy on Monday suprisingly fired Schmid, who guided his squad to a 9-6-7 record and a league-best 34 points.

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Galaxy general manager Doug Hamilton said the team, which had gone 3-3-4 in its last 10 games, was not going in the right direction.

"The reaction from the players and the staff was as you might expect," Hamilton said. "We talked about the expectations this club places on players and how we are going to go forward."

Until the club can find a replacement, Galaxy assistant Martin Vasquez will oversee the team.

"We have a game Saturday (vs. Columbus) and then 14 days, so yes, I think we will have an announcement," Hamilton said.

Schmid, who coached the Western Conference squad in the MLS All-Star Game, was in his sixth season with the Galaxy, whom he led to the 2002 MLS Cup, the 2001 Open Cup and the 2000 CONCACAF Champions Cup.

The third coach in Galaxy history, Schmid succeeded Octavio Zambrano on April 22, 1999. The 49-year-old Schmid finished with an overall record of 79-53-32 (.579), including a 16-7-3 mark (.673) in the playoffs.

"We are a team whose mission is to compete for and win championships," Hamilton said. "I strongly feel that now is the time for us to make a change in order to give us the best possible chance to live up to this mission. This marketplace has the savviest, most demanding fans in the U.S., and we must provide them with a more entertaining and attractive product on the field."

© 2004 SportsTicker Enterprises, LP

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