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Williams takes charge of Bradenton program
by Paul Kennedy, January 24th, 2012 5:42PM

TAGS:  u-17 world cup, youth boys


[U.S. UNDER-17 MEN] Former U.S. men's national team midfielder Richie Williams, hired as U.S. under-18 national team head coach last fall, has a new job. He was named head coach of the U.S. under-17 national team and will oversee U.S. Soccer's U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. He replaces Wilmer Cabrera, who resigned recently after he was only offered a one-year contract for the new U-17 cycle.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to coach the U.S. U-17 men's national team and be with the players full-time in the Residency Program," Williams said in a statement. "It is a great responsibility as the players kick off the cycle toward the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, but it is also an excellent platform for introducing them in more detail to the philosophies and style of play that are being integrated throughout the national team programs."

Before joining U.S. Soccer, Williams spent five seasons with MLS's New York Red Bulls as an assistant coach. Williams began his coaching career in 2005 as an assistant coach for his alma mater, the University of Virginia.

Williams earned 20 caps for the USA in 1998-2002 and won three MLS Cups with D.C. United, in 1996, 1997 and 1999.

"Richie is an ideal candidate to guide the development of our young national team players while also preparing the team during the next year to qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup," said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. "His experience as a player and coach at the highest levels will allow him to continue to provide a professional environment for the players in our U-17 Residency Program."

Williams is the fourth head of the U-17 program in Bradenton, following John Ellinger, John Hackworth and Cabrera.

Cabrera's reign ended last week when the U-17s traveled to Turkey for a youth tournament, where they beat Denmark but fell to the hosts and Czech Republic.

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