April 23, 1999
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - The Los Angeles Galaxy replaced coach Octavio Zambrano with UCLA coach Sigi Schmid on Thursday after the defending MLS Western Conference champions fell to fifth place with three goals in five games.
"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."
Schmidt also is coach of the U.S. Under-20 team, eliminated in the second round last weekend at the FIFA World Youth Championship.
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 at 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, Calif., resident joins the Galaxy after 19 seasons coaching the Bruins, guiding them to a 322-63-33 record and the 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.