Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber kicked off the 2019 SuperDraft by announcing that the annual coach of the year award will be renamed after Sigi Schmid.
Schmid passed away on Dec. 25, 2018, at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after being hospitalized as he awaited a heart transplant.
Before the draft began, Garber took the podium and took time to remember Schmid's legacy: "Sigi was an important part of our league from the very early years in our history, and he had a significant impact on everyone he touched throughout his life and coaching career.
"While he will be remembered by many in the soccer community for his success on the field, it was his kindness and his great qualities as a father, husband and mentor that made him such a special person."
The former Seattle Sounders, Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy manager was the all-time winningest coach in MLS history with 266 regular-season and postseason victories in 18 seasons. He led teams to two MLS titles, the first with the Galaxy in 2002 and the second with the Crew in 2008, and was a two-time MLS Coach of the Year.
As the first coach of expansion club Seattle, he won four U.S. Open Cups from 2009 to 2016.
MLS Coach of the Year honors have been awarded each year since 1996, based on votes by players, club technical staffs, and media.