CARSON, Calif. – Sigi Schmid added an important piece to the LA Galaxy’s new foundation on Tuesday with the hiring of MLS coaching legend Dominic Kinnear as his top assistant.
The third-winningest head coach in league history behind Schmid and Bruce Arena, Kinnear joins the Galaxy after stints with the San Jose Earthquakes and the Houston Dynamo. The 50-year-old manager brings a wealth of experience, winning two MLS Cups with the Houston Dynamo in 2006 and 2007 while leading his teams to four conference titles.
After being hired by the Galaxy in late July, Schmid immediately sought out his longtime rival and was ecstatic that he decided to join the staff.
“It’s pretty special that he decided to come. At first, I asked him to just help me for the rest of the season because I figured that he’d have a head coaching job again. It really speaks to the character that he has because he said, ‘if I’m coming, I’m coming for the whole adventure.’” Schmid told LA Galaxy Insider. “I’ve known him for a long time, and we’ve always had a good relationship even when it was coach to player and when we were in that situation and as colleagues.
“He’s someone that brings a great deal of energy to training and obviously, the knowledge that he brings is going to be really important as we move forward.”
Given Kinnear’s impressive coaching pedigree, it’s no surprise that Schmid initially broached his new assistant on a more short-term deal, but Kinnear is adamant that he is in it for the long-haul declaring “I didn’t come down here for four months.”
“I thought four months wouldn’t be enough time for me personally to settle in and feel comfortable. The reasoning for me coming here is an easy one because I think Sigi is a real good coach,” Kinnear said to LA Galaxy Insider. “We’ve had discussions over the years about working together, and I asked him if there was a possibility of staying beyond the rest of the season and I said I wanted to do it. It was a chance to work with Sigi and the Galaxy which we all know is a big club. It was very enticing.”
With the Galaxy still searching for direction amid a moribund season, Schmid believes that Kinnear’s hiring can only help the team.
"It gives me somebody to bounce ideas off of; it gives you somebody who is strong in his own thought and won’t be afraid to offer a contrary opinion because sometimes we get lost in the forest a little bit," Schmid said. "I think there will be good balance because he has his opinions and I have mine. There are a lot of things where we feel very similar on, but we’re certainly going to discuss, and the stimulation from offering a different point of view is only something that enhances the team.
"Sigi just wants to build a staff with people that he’s familiar with and likes and can trust. I think I fit that mold for him and just for me, he wants me to come in and help him and coach the players so we can improve the team. It’s a pretty simple task. Yes, I’ve been a head coach but my title as an assistant coach doesn’t change as far as what you want to do. I want the team win and I want to help them prepare, it’s just I’m helping a guy above me prepare which I haven’t done but for me, it’s no problem."
Ready to serve as an assistant coach for the first time in his storied career, Kinnear is excited about the challenge.
"I’m here to help him. I told him that I’m not here for anything else other than to help him prepare the team. If he has a question, then I need to be here to give him my honest opinion. My number one role is to help him and help the team prepare and help them win games. It’s no different than being a head coach. If I didn’t think I could help Sigi I wouldn’t be here and if I didn’t think that I wanted to help Sigi then I wouldn’t be here. It’s pretty easy."