Tab Ramos explains his move to the Houston Dynamo from U.S. Soccer

After eight years at U.S. Soccer, coaching the U.S. under-20 men's national team at four world championships and overseeing the youth national team program on the boys side, new Houston Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos said he was ready for a change.

Without going into what has been reported to be a declining relationship with senior executives at the federation, Ramos said he started looking around at potentially new jobs in the last year and a half.

“I’ve been linked with a lot of jobs over the last seven or eight years," he said, "but in particular the first six years I was in U.S. Soccer – I wasn’t really looking to go anywhere. I was really excited about what I was building there. As you know, I was the Youth Technical Director, so I really had my hands on all the youth national teams, and I was very excited about the work I was doing so I was not really looking to leave."

He said he'd often read he was a finalist for a job for which he had never spoken to anyone about.

"So that happened a lot," Ramos said, "and then really over the last year and a half is when I started to think a little bit more about, ‘Hey maybe it’s time to make the jump.’ I felt like a lot had already been accomplished at the youth national teams and I felt like it was a new challenge. I really felt like I wanted to be selective over the last 18 months as far as where I wanted to go, but it all had to start in a place where I felt like the players matched what I wanted to do to start with. And that’s why I feel Houston was the right place for me.”

In 2018, Ramos had worked for Telemundo on its World Cup coverage and he said he became familiar with Houston's Latino community.

"Then there’s some obvious reasons as to why I think this is perfect for me," he said. "Obviously, the city of Houston has huge potential, not just in the national market on the English side, but in the Latino market. I had learned a lot more about Houston last year when I worked for one of the TV networks covering the World Cup about the importance of Houston and the Latino community in particular, so that attracted me immediately. And then, I think the most important piece which is I think we have good players here. I think we have players who fit what I want to do and how we want to play. So I felt like the core of this group is a great one to start to move forward with.”

He said the diversity of Houston appealed to him in terms of building the Dynamo, which has lagged behind other MLS clubs in terms of its academy program.

Photo: Houston Dynamo
"Houston has a lot of potential," he said. "It is bigger than Uruguay. Uruguay is world champion, a couple of times. One of the things we have to do better as an organization is getting out there to the Latino community and bringing those players and making them comfortable. It’s the same with the African American community, if you look at the make up of our youth national teams or who our best players are and you take a picture of the team – you really see what America is about. In some time I feel like the Development Academy, it is not always represented. Hopefully we can do a great job to represent exactly that.”

6 comments about "Tab Ramos explains his move to the Houston Dynamo from U.S. Soccer".
  1. Nick Gabris, November 7, 2019 at 11:15 a.m.

    US soccer loss, Dynamos gain! He should have been appointed to the MNT.





  2. Jim Ngo replied, November 7, 2019 at 1:31 p.m.

    He didn't yet have the experience for to manage the senior team. An assistant position would have been the appropriate promotion but that was impossible since he himself admitted he had soured on the federation. You can't promote someone in the organization who didn't want to be there anymore. Further, in his time there, I would be very surprised if he had not already been offered assistanceships on the senior level but he didn't take it, for whatever reason. Again, that is just speculation.

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, November 8, 2019 at 8:22 a.m.

    Respectufully, Jim, you have the facts wrong. How many times must you be an assistant for the senior team before you become the head coach?

  4. humble 1, November 7, 2019 at 11:53 a.m.

    He was burned out at USSF.  Time for a move.  If he ever does go back to USSF, he'll be a more complete coach for the experience he gains in club soccer.  This move is similar to Jesse Marsch's move to assistant at RBL from head coach at NYRB - looks like a side step or not the next big step - but one taken with a view to the future.  Let's see where he's able to take Houston.   

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, November 8, 2019 at 8:25 a.m.

    It is pretty clear that USSF and MLS overlap to an extent that it is now influencing decisions on the soccer side of things, not just the business side.

  6. humble 1, November 8, 2019 at 10:08 a.m.

    In case this thread still has a little life - worth a watch/listen to the Ramos intro presser.

    Tab is very guarded in remarks typically, but here he is a little more relaxed that usual and you can find some interesting take aways on the DA, the fact that he was not looked at for the MNT job and his new found facination with his latino roots.

    A lot of the questions from press in Spanish (subtitled in English).  This is the first time I've heard Tab speak in Spanish.

    Summing it up.  Maybe the DA does have issues with how they identifiy and technically prepare players, the faces on the MNT do not look like the faces of young america, he notes.  He was not at all happy to not be considered for MNT job, but is moving on, and perhaps is in a better place, all things considered.  After working for Telemundo at the last WC in Houston, he maybe awoke to the reality that there is perhaps more money in latino soccer in USA than anglo.  After all, Telemundo paid something like double what NBC did for Spanish broadcast in the USA.  Finally, he did play for Tigres of Monterrey Mexico in his playing career, albeit briefly, and won a trophy with them, so he expects to be a factor in bring more latinos, but Mexican fans in particular, to Dynamo games.

    Interesting side note, he has quickly brought a solid coaching core with him, Mastroeni and Namazi.  Bold stroke by Dynamo's new owners who are finally shaking things up after a (very) slow start.  

    One more interesting take, watch in the interview where Dynamo Pres. John Walker states they looked at something like 70 candidates.  This was over months.  Contrast this with Ernie Stewarts approach to hire new MNT coach, over a full year, where they looked at like three candidates!  Insanity!

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