Q&A with the SA Editors: Dec. 14, 1999

Nader Nattagh Los Altos, Calif. Despite Tab Ramos' volatile temper and his outbursts during World Cup 98, he is still an outstanding player. Can you offer an explanation as to why he has been totally left out of Bruce Arena's national team plans? Mike Woitalla: Nader, there is no doubt that Tab Ramos was one of the most talented players ever to play for the United States. It would be wonderful if our last image of Ramos will not be from France '98. However, Ramos has not been healthy since the beginning of the 1999 season. He played only five games for the MetroStars last season. We have heard that new MetroStars coach Octavio Zambrano is expecting Ramos to be an important part of his team next season, but don't expect Arena to call Ramos until he proves himself again in MLS. Arena made it clear when he took the job last October that players will be judged on their club form. He obviously isn't discarding the old-guard players from the Sampson era. He called back John Harkes and Marcelo Balboa, for instance. But he isn't inclined to call in players because of their good reputation from years ago. Ramos is 33. That doesn't make him too old to be effective in the coming World Cup qualifiers. But he has had two serious knee injuries and several nagging injuries over the past three years. Ramos will have to play impressive ball for a few months before he gets another national team call. (If you have a question for a Soccer America Magazine editor, click "Q&A with SA Editors" in the left column of the home page under "Interactive.")
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