Schmid to Miss Rivalry Renewal

Times Staff Writer

Galaxy Coach Sigi Schmid has long maintained that he enjoys matching wits with Bob Bradley, the coach of the New York/New Jersey MetroStars.

The two kept up a good rivalry during the five years that Bradley coached the Chicago Fire, and it continued last season when Bradley took charge of the MetroStars.

If anything, it intensified.

In 2003, the Galaxy, then the reigning Major League Soccer champion, failed to defeat Bradley’s MetroStars in three attempts.


Today, the teams play each other for the first time this season, but instead of being on the sideline at Giants Stadium this afternoon, Schmid will be back in Los Angeles, preparing to attend the graduation of his son, Kurt, from UCLA at Pauley Pavilion this evening.

Schmid flew with the team to the East Coast on Thursday and stayed through Friday’s training session and team meeting before returning. Assistant Martin Vasquez will be in charge against the MetroStars.

Kurt Schmid, who played on UCLA’s 2002 NCAA championship-winning team, has earned a degree in business and economics.

The Galaxy also will be without strikers Carlos Ruiz and Jovan Kirovski.

Ruiz is with Guatemala’s national team for the second leg of its World Cup 2006 qualifying series against Suriname in Guatemala City on Sunday. The teams tied, 1-1, in the first game in Paramaribo, Suriname.

Ruiz severely sprained his right ankle on May 15 and has not played since. He took part in the Galaxy’s scrimmage (a 2-0 loss) against the German club Hannover 96 in Carson on Tuesday, and Schmid said the forward was “about at the 85% mark in terms of being back to full health.”

He will be back from Guatemala in time to play for the Galaxy when it again faces the MetroStars on Wednesday at the Home Depot Center.


Kirovski, meanwhile, is with the U.S. national team for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Grenada in St. George’s, Grenada. The Americans hold a 3-0 advantage after the first game last Sunday in Columbus, Ohio.

Defender Tyrone Marshall and midfielder Peter Vagenas also did not travel with the Galaxy because of injuries, but defender Danny Califf did make the trip and might play for the first time since injuring his right knee on April 24.

The MetroStars will be reduced in strength because of injuries and World Cup qualifying commitments. Goalkeeper Jonny Walker is with the U.S. team, midfielder Amado Guevaro is with Honduras, defender Craig Ziadie and forward Fabian Taylor are with Jamaica, and forward Cornell Glenn is with Trinidad and Tobago.

On top of that, Ugandan defender Tenywa Bonseu is out injured and Eddie Pope, Sergio Galvan Rey, Mark Lisi and Bradley’s son, Michael, all are nursing assorted injuries.

“Sometimes when you’re missing some people everybody sort of rolls up their sleeves a little bit more and so collectively you get an effort that maybe exceeds what you were getting before,” Schmid said.

He was talking about the Galaxy, but the same could apply to the MetroStars, whose season so far has not lived up to expectations.


That will not affect the rivalry, even though Vasquez today will be filling in for Schmid, who might have to pull the strings by cellphone from afar.

“I enjoy coaching against Bob,” Schmid said. “I think he enjoys coaching against me. It’s a good rivalry. There’s a lot of respect between us. When he was at Chicago, there were some great intense battles between Chicago and L.A., and that’s the way it is now that he’s at New York.”