Schmid, Hejduk, Lapper Aim For MLS Cup With Columbus Crew

Nov. 19, 2008

Former UCLA head coach and player Sigi Schmid and former All-Americans Frankie Hejduk and Mike Lapper will lead the Columbus Crew in the 2008 MLS Cup, which is being held on Sunday, Nov. 23 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The Crew will face the New York Red Bulls for the league championship.

Schmid coached the Bruins to NCAA titles in 1985, 1990 and 1997 and compiled an overall record of 322-63-33 during his 19-year tenure at UCLA. He was also a four-year starter at UCLA from 1972-75. This season, his third as the head coach of the Crew, Schmid was awarded MLS Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career after leading his squad to the MLS Supporters' Shield for the league's best regular season record. Also this season, he became just the second coach in MLS history to win 100 regular season games in his career. Schmid coached the Los Angeles Galaxy from 1999-2004. Under his direction, the Galaxy won the 2002 MLS Cup and advanced to the finals in 1999 and 2001.

Hejduk, the Crew's team captain, played at UCLA from 1992-94 and was an All-American for the Bruins in his junior season. He is a long-time U.S. National Team member who has played in two World Cups and in the 1996 Olympics. Hejduk is a six-time MLS All-Star who has played in 163 career MLS games. This will be his first MLS Cup appearance.

Lapper, an assistant coach on Schmid's staff at Columbus, played at UCLA from 1988-91. He was a member of UCLA's 1990 NCAA Championship squad and earned All-America honors in 1991. He was also a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic team and 1994 U.S. World Cup squad. Lapper was a defender for the Columbus Crew from 1997-2002.

UCLA had 21 players on MLS rosters in 2008. Fifteen former Bruin players have won MLS titles, most recently Patrick Ianni and Zach Wells with the Houston Dynamo in 2006 and 2007.

The MLS Cup will be televised live on ABC and Telefutura at 12:30 pm on Sunday. Tickets to the match are still available at Ticketmaster.

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