SOCCER AMERICA: What's your favorite memory of the 1990 World Cup?
TAB RAMOS: Playing at Olympic Stadium in Rome vs Italy. It just does not get better than that.
SA: What part of your Italia '90 experience do you think had the most profound impact on your future career in soccer?
TAB RAMOS: Playing against top players and adapting to a speed of play I had not experienced before.
SA: Can you share a Italia 90 anecdote we may not have known about?
TAB RAMOS: After we lost to Czechoslovakia 5-1 in the first game our
training sessions were, as you can imagine, really intense to say the least. At one point, Bruce Murray and Eric Eichmann ended up tangled up in the net throwing
punches at each other after fighting for a ball during a possession game. Unforgettable! ... and so funny.
Tab Ramos took charge of the Houston Dynamo for the 2020 season after coaching the USA at the last four men's U-20 World Cups. The USA is the only nation that reached the quarterfinals of the last three U-20 World Cups.
SA: What do you think was the most important legacy from the USA's 1990 World Cup team?
TAB RAMOS: It was a group of players with relentless desire and resilience to overachieve. Just about every single player who wore the U.S. jersey in that World Cup has had an effect in the game of soccer in this country that laid the foundation for the next generation of players and for many generations to come, on and off the field. No other team will ever be able to make that claim.
Tab Ramos played in three World Cups, two Copa Americas and the Olympics for the USA. His six world championship appearances as a player include the 1983 U-20 World Cup and 1989 Futsal World Championship. Upon retiring in 2002, Ramos founded the New Jersey youth club NJSA 04 (now part of the Cedar Stars Academy) and in 2008 coached the NJSA 04 Gunners to the U-14 U.S. Youth Soccer national title. He became the USA's U-20 head coach in 2011 and also served as assistant coach to the full national team at the 2014 World Cup. In total, he's been part of 11 world championships as player and coach.
Ramos' 1990 World Cup performance led him to Spain's Figueres and Real Betis. Ramos, who then played for Mexico's Tigres, was the first player signed by MLS for its 1996 launch.
USA 1990 World Cup Roster
(Where are they now)
Co-founder East Nash Soccer (youth); TV broadcaster.
TV analyst Univision and Colorado Rapids; Monarch High School head coach.
Died at age 54 in 2019. Founded an inner-city Milwaukee youth soccer program and worked with Milwaukee Boy’s and Girl’s Club.
Sporting Kansas City technical director and VP of player personnel.
Head coach and technical director of NPSL Orange County FC.
Partner with the Florida law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson.
Mustang Soccer (youth) Director of Coaching.
Boca United (youth) director of coaching and player development.
Head coach/sporting director of USL's Greenville Triumph SC.
Seattle Sounders’ color commentator; assistant coach of Newport High School boys soccer.
Loyola Marymount University head coach.
VP of soccer and sporting director of Seattle Sounders.
Host on Sirius XM's "Counter Attack."
St. James Center for Soccer Excellence director of player development and parent engagement.
Houston Dynamo head coach.
VP of investment firm Raymond James.
Sunnyvale Alliance SC (youth) coach.
Head coach of USL's Saint Louis FC.
Died in 2007 of heart attack. Was New England Revolution assistant coach.
Sporting Kansas City head coach.
Teacher and coach at the Susan B. Anthony Academy in Queens.
Most recently was head coach USL's Las Vegas Lights.