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Galaxy fires Zambrano
UCLA's Schmid named replacement coach
Posted: Thursday April 22, 1999 06:29 PM
PASADENA, California (AP) -- The Los Angeles Galaxy fired Ecuadoran head coach Octavio Zambrano and replaced him with U.S. under-20 national team and UCLA coach Sigi Schmid on Thursday.
"We needed a change and absolutely believe Sigi is going to take us to the next level," Galaxy president Tim Leiweke said. "Our players were minus a little bit of a spark."
Leiweke made the move after the defending Western Conference champions fell to fifth place with three goals in five games.
Schmid, who coached six of the Galaxy's players at UCLA, did not announce any immediate changes.
"I think the first thing I have to do is observe," said Schmid, born in Germany. "Every coach always looks at things a little differently. There're certain players that may catch my eye a little bit more than they caught Octavio's and vice versa."
Schmidt coached the U.S. Under-20 team to the second round of the FIFA World Youth Championship last week in Nigeria
Assistant coach Ralph Perez will serve as interim coach for Saturday night's game against San Jose, and Schmid will make his debut May 1 in a road game against New York-New Jersey in a matchup against Bora Milutinovic. Schmid was an assistant coach for the 1994 U.S. World Cup team under Milutinovic.
Schmidt, 46, received a three-year contract. The Torrance, California, resident joins the Galaxy after 19 seasons coaching UCLA. He coached the Bruins to U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association titles in 1985, 1990 and 1997 NCAA championships.Los Angeles had a 24-8 record in 1998, Zambrano's only full season as coach, equaling the three-year old league's record for victories and scoring a record 85 goals. The team was swept by eventual-champion Chicago in the Western Conference final.
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