SoCal Pros: Sigi Schmid & Robbie Rogers

Both the Galaxy and Chivas USA may be done for the season, but there are still Southern Californians out to make a difference in MLS this year.

Foremost among them are the pair with the Columbus Crew: coach Sigi Schmid, who grew up in Torrance, and gifted young midfielder Robbie Rogers, who was raised in Rolling Hills Estates.

Schmid, the former Galaxy coach, not only led the Crew to a first place finish in MLS, but has now got Columbus into the Eastern Conference final with a 2-0 win Saturday over the Kansas City Wizards (3-1 on aggregate).

“We are happy to be moving into the conference finals,” Schmid told ESPN. “It’s been a long time since the Crew has won a playoff game, so that’s good.”

It’s the Crew’s first playoff win since 2002; they had gone 0-2-4 since then.

Rogers, 21, – who also remains in the hunt for the MLS Goal of the Year Award – scored the Crew’s second goal that culminated a finely worked play by likely MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Alejandro Moreno.

“I knew if Alejandro was out wide then someone else has to get in the middle,” Rogers told ESPN. “I think maybe Eddie (Gaven) was near post and the ball just came back post perfectly. It sat perfectly for me. I just thought I better put this on target or they are going to kill me.”

The Crew meet the Chicago Fire Thursday in Columbus with a place at MLS Cup in Carson at stake

Check out the highlights:

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • ric

    Don’t forget about the captain of the team, Frankie Hejduk.

    He was born and raised in San Diego.

    He was an aspiring surfer, and played soccer on the beach with his friends, including one who became world-famous – Rob Machado.

    He went to the same high school as several other future pro soccer players, as well as the singer in a world-famous band – Eddie Vedder, lead vocalist of Pearl Jam.

    Frankie was then an elite player with the La Jolla Nomads.

    He’s the favorite ‘soccer son’ of San Diego at the moment, especially in this year and post-season.

    Nick replies: You are right, of course, and he also went to UCLA, although strictly speaking I was referring to people raised in LA County. Frankie almost had a nice goal, too, on Saturday and is actually playing better this season than I’ve seen in some time at club level (surprise! he has something to play for this season).