You won’t get much more than a shrug from Sounders coach Sigi Schmid when he talks about potentially winning his 200th regular-season MLS game, but it’s a feat that has never been reached in MLS history.
Schmid has a chance to change that Monday when his 12-4-2 Sounders play host to the Los Angeles Galaxy at CenturyLink Field. Currently sitting at 199 victories, Schmid could hit the 200 mark if Seattle can get a victory against the 7-4-6 Galaxy.
“It’s not something I consciously think about, but it’s just a reflection that I’ve been blessed by having a lot of good players play for me,” he said. “Players make it easy to be successful as a coach.”
Schmid passed Bob Bradley as the winningest MLS coach in 2009, and has had the chance to build on that success with the Sounders.
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With coaching stops along the way in Los Angeles and Columbus, Schmid has built a victorious trail through the MLS. But Seattle has been a unique setting for him, especially because he has been at the helm since the team’s inception.
“Here, it’s been, ‘Can we start it off with a bang and maintain it?’ ” Schmid said. “For me, the fans and atmosphere and the things Seattle has done to be able to change the culture of soccer within MLS makes this a very special place.”
This season, Seattle has been even more special for Schmid. The team’s .722 winning percentage is the highest in Schmid’s professional coaching career. And with six points separating them from the Western Conference’s second-place team, Real Salt Lake, the Sounders are poised to make a push to add more achievements to Schmid’s record.
Collecting points is the first step toward that, and a home match against an up-and-down Galaxy team is a prime opportunity.
“Every time we play against them, it’s always a good opportunity to test yourself against some of the best players in the MLS, but it’s also an opportunity to continue to try and get as many points as possible and finish the season as high as possible on the table,” said Sounders forward Clint Dempsey. “It’s one of those types of games.”
Los Angeles started the season 2-3-3, but then put together an eight-game unbeaten streak that extended until last Saturday against Kansas City.
Galaxy star Landon Donovan has been in and out of the lineup because of injuries, and Omar Gonzalez missed time for the World Cup.
Now, the Galaxy is reintegrating its players and hoping the results on the field reflect the talent level.
“They’ve really had to shift things around and change things so that’s maybe why people don’t look at them the same way,” Schmid said. “But I look at them the same way because (Galaxy coach) Bruce (Arena) is always going to have a team that’s competitive and that’s going to find a way to get results.”
Both teams will aim for those “results” Monday night, in what Schmid has dubbed “real Monday Night Football.” The Sounders and Galaxy will kick off at 7 p.m., and the match will be broadcast on ESPN2.