Kyle Schmid said having his brother join the staff in the spring, instead of this fall, helped the adjustment for both. “It was a little hard for me to accept that at first,” Kyle Schmid said. “It settled in with me. I’m ready to handle him. He’s pushing me to be a better player.” Kyle Schmid has shown plenty of improvement this season, moving into the starting lineup as a defender. The Anteaters had allowed just six goals in their first eight games before a 4-0 loss at No. 18 UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday night. “I kept doing hard work, day in and day out,” Schmid said. “Things came together for me this year. I just kept working hard. I didn’t let anything pull me down.” UC Irvine is a young team, with only three seniors and seven juniors, and Kyle Schmid is convinced the underclassmen will grow up in a hurry and push the team among the area’s elite programs. “We’re right on the cusp of things,” Kyle Schmid said. “We’re in a transition mode. We’re trying to get recognized. “Next year we’ll really make an impact.” Kurt Schmid has noticed his brother’s impact on the rest of the team. “On the field, he’s done very well,” Kurt Schmid said. “He’s improved with every game. He’s played some of the best soccer I’ve seen him play. This is the first year where he’s been given the reins and he deserves it. He’s not officially a captain, we don’t have a lot of seniors, but he’s taken on a leadership role.” Both brothers credit their love of soccer to their father, Sigi Schmid, the current coach of the Columbus Crew of MLS. Sigi Schmid was a longtime coach at UCLA and later ran the show for the Galaxy. “I think growing up with my dad has been one of the biggest influences on my life, in terms of being a player and a coach now,” Kurt Schmid said. “I’ve been around soccer since I was in a baby carriage. One of the things I always did was go to practice and be a fly on the wall. “All of that has been very influential on me.” Kyle Schmid agreed. “Huge influence, not only in soccer but in everyday life,” Kyle Schmid said. “He’s never really pushed me to play soccer. He’s pushed me to do whatever makes me happy. He’s always there for me.” Kyle Schmid said he’s not sure if he’ll follow in his father’s and brother’s footsteps as a coach, but he won’t pass on the opportunity if it comes along. “I definitely want to take a chance and see how it goes,” Kyle Schmid said. “But hopefully my playing days don’t end anytime soon.” UC Irvine will return home to face Cal State Northridge on Saturday night at 7. More men’s soccer: LMU seemingly has more South Bay players in this sport than every other college combined. Freshman forward Rafael Baca (Animo) and sophomore defender Alex Proano (Bishop Montgomery) have cracked the starting lineup for the Lions. Junior Miguel Benitez (Bishop Montgomery) and freshman Jack McCormack (Mira Costa) are backup goalkeepers. Other reserves include sophomore defender Wilkie Johnson (Peninsula), sophomore defender Andrew Kristof (West Torrance) and freshman midfielder Giovanni Lopez (Serra). Freshman Go Eto (Peninsula) will redshirt due to an ankle injury. The Lions (2-4-1) face an imposing foe, No. 6 Santa Clara (5-1-2), in their WCC home opener today at 4 p.m. Other area players include UCLA freshman goalkeeper Kevin Weiner (Mira Costa), Columbia freshman goalkeeper Alex Contratto (Chadwick) and Florida International sophomore forward Kyle Emerson (Redondo). Around the nation: Brown freshman middle blocker Danielle Vaughan (Peninsula) was named the volleyball co-rookie of the week by the Ivy League on Tuesday. Vaughan led the Bears with 1.67 blocks per game and a .393 hitting average in matches against Yale and Rhode Island. For the season, Vaughan leads Brown with a .274 average and 39 blocks. … Senior defender Dylann Tharp (San Pedro) could return to the Oregon women’s soccer team this weekend. Tharp suffered a badly sprained left ankle on Sept. 14, and the Ducks (6-3) have struggled defensively without her. Oregon had a goals-against average of 0.60 with Tharp in the lineup, and in the four games without her that mark has jumped to 1.75. The Ducks will play host to No. 10 Portland (7-3) tonight at 7. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas City“I think it started out where he was very receptive,” Kurt Schmid said. “Then he went through a spell where he couldn’t hear it from me. Now he’s being pretty good about listening. It can be tough when your brother is telling you what to do.” Kyle Schmid has spent most of his life with his brother telling him what to do. He just never really expected it to reach a point where he was required to listen. “It’s like having your biggest critic around,” Kyle Schmid said. “It’s a little bit frustrating at times. But he pushes me to be the best player he can be. Sometimes you have to bite your tongue, though.” Kurt Schmid said his brother’s presence on the roster almost made him turn down the job as an assistant. “Him being here almost made me not come here,” Kurt Schmid said. “That was definitely a concern early on. I asked him how he felt about it. I wouldn’t have come if it would have hurt him in any way.” Former South Torrance High standout Kyle Schmid was having a perfectly good time playing soccer at UC Irvine when a familiar face joined the coaching staff. Kurt Schmid, Kyle’s older brother, joined the Anteaters’ coaching staff this spring. The two brothers have done their best to downplay any sibling rivalry for the good of the team, helping UC Irvine get off to a 5-2-2 start this season. Both said it’s still a work in progress.