[U.S. SOCCER] Tab Ramos, one of the most accomplished players in U.S. Soccer history, having played in three World Cups and professionally in Spain, Mexico and MLS, is the new coach of the U.S. men's U-20 national team, which will vie to qualify for the 2013 World Cup.
Ramos, 45, is the first U.S. U-20 coach who played for the U.S. U-20 national team. At age 16, he played for the USA at the 1983 U-20 World Cup.
“Tab Ramos has been one of the pioneers of the sport in this country and will bring a wealth of experience in his role,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati.
Ramos has been a member of the U.S. Soccer Federation Player Development Task Force since 2006. He served U.S. U-20 assistant coach in 2009 and as interim head coach eariler this year, guiding the U-20s through training camp and two friendlies in France.
Born in Uruguay, Ramos immigrated to the New Jersey with his family at age 11. He was drafted by the New York Cosmos after setting the all-time New Jersey high school scoring record with 161 goals at St. Benedict’s Prep. But he opted for college and starred four years at North Carolina State.
Ramos played for the USA at the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups, at two Copa Americas, and in the 1988 Olympic Games.
In the 1994 World Cup, Ramos assisted on Earnie Stewart’s game-winning goal against Colombia that led to the USA’s first second-round appearance at a World Cup in 64 years.
Ramos retired in 2002, ending a career that included 81 appearances for the USA and club play in Spain (Figueres & Real Betis) and Mexico (Tigres), in addition to his seven years with the MLS's MetroStars.
Ramos started coaching youth soccer while still playing for the MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls) and in 2004 founded the New Jersey youth club NJSA 04, for which he serves as president.
In 2008, he coached the NJSA 04 Gunners to the U-14 U.S. Youth Soccer national title, marking the first national championship for a New Jersey club in two decades.