Toronto FC's Greg Vanney feels for Sigi Schmid, say former L.A. coach helped many

TORONTO — Fresh from the training field, Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney had calling Sigi Schmid on his to-do list Tuesday.

The 65-year-old Schmid parted ways with the Los Angeles Galaxy on Monday in the wake of a 6-2 loss to Real Salt Lake. The Galaxy (10-10-8), who visit BMO Field on Saturday night, are winless in six games — an 0-3-3 a stretch that has seen L.A. outscored 18-8.

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Vanney played under Schmid, both at UCLA and the Galaxy, and holds him dearly.

"From my perspective, it's sad to see Sigi out of the game again for the time being," said Vanney. "My intention is to reach out to him today, candidly just to make sure that from his side he's OK, whether that be health or anything else. And to wish him well.

"He's one of the guys who has really helped this league over the course of the years — in many, many ways, not just as a coach but also in consultation for the league and bringing up a bunch of young players who now are in positions of coaching and other different areas in the league. A lot of us who've come through UCLA or through Southern California are in various positions. I mean he's one of the founding fathers of the game and its progress in this country.

"So it's unfortunate and disappointing to see him not in the league at the moment. We'll see where it goes after that but I hope everything is good with him."

Toronto has plenty of L.A. ties.

Vanney and assistant coaches Dan Calichman and Robin Fraser all captained the Galaxy during their playing days. Jim Liston, Toronto's director of sport science, was the strength and conditioning coach at the Galaxy during the 1999, 2001 and 2002 MLS Cup final runs.

Vanney played at UCLA with Nick Theslof, another TFC assistant coach.

The Galaxy have an experienced interim coach in Dominic Kinnear, whose 166 career MLS wins rank only behind Schmid and Bruce Arena. Kinnear has been handed the keys for the rest of the season.

Schmid is the winningest coach in MLS history with 266 wins across MLS regular and post-season play. His resume includes two MLS Cups, three Supporters’ Shields and five U.S. Open Cups.

Toronto will likely be watching the Galaxy coaching search closely.

Columbus' Gregg Berhalter is seen as a leading candidate for both the L.A. and U.S. national team jobs. Vanney, the reigning MLS coach of the year, likely would also be a person of interest.

Like Toronto, the Galaxy are desperate for points to climb back into the playoff picture.

Ninth-place TFC (7-14-6) is nine points out of the last playoff spot in the East with seven games remaining. The Galaxy, who have dropped to eighth in the West, are three points out of the playoffs with six games left.

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