[U.S. UNDER-18 MEN]Spaniard Javier Perez has been hired as the head coach of the U.S. under-18 national team, replacing Richie Williams, who left after a brief time on the job to take over as the head of the under-17 national team program. Perez is the director of coaching at New York Soccer Club, a Westchester-based club he launched with former U.S. national team captain Claudio Reyna in 2009. Reyna is U.S. Soccer's youth technical director.
“It’s an honor to be part of the national team staff,” Perez said. “This job is extremely important because the U-17 men’s national team and U-20 men’s national team are two groups going into World Cups for their respective age group. The U-18s do not have a World Cup, but the job, in this case, is to make that transition between the U-17s toward U-20s easier."
Perez, who holds a Ph.D. in exercise physiology, worked with Reyna to develop the U.S. Soccer coaching curriculum and was a member of the national team staff for a two-game series in October 2011, when the USA hosted Honduras and Ecuador.
The U-18s will compete in the annual Lisbon International Tournament May 23-26 in what will be Perez’s first competition as head coach.