JAMIE HILL - Thursday, May 5, 2011
One month after the United States' bitterly disappointing failure to qualify for the 2011 Under-20 World Cup, the United States Soccer Federation has made the decision to replace Thomas Rongen.

"US Soccer will not be renewing Thomas Rongen's contract when it expires at the end of the year," US Soccer media representative Neil Buethe told YA. "Tab Ramos will be leading the team during their trip to France. Tab was selected because he was an assistant with the team during the last cycle and is familiar with the players and the program."

US Soccer will continue the search for a permanent U-20 coach in the weeks and months ahead.

Rongen has a long history with US U-20 national team, having coached the team for nine of the last ten years. The Dutch manager took the reins in 2001 and has continued with the team ever since, with the exception of a brief stint at the helm of Chivas USA in 2005 a period in which Sigi Schmid led the team.

Rongen's reign with the US U-20 team has been marked with mixed results. The manager, a veteran of four MLS clubs, led the US U-20s to the World Cup quarterfinals on two occasions, in 2003 and in 2007.

He was also panned in many circles for not including Borussia Dortmund's Neven Subotic to the 2007 World Cup team, a decision many have felt have led to the highly-rated Chelsea defecting to Serbia's national squad.

The 2009 team was a disappointment after crashing out in group stage of the World Cup. However, the failure of the highly-rated 2011 squad to qualify out of CONCACAF may have been the death knell for Rongen.
Friday May 6, 2011 2:34 pm
Too bad such swift action wasn't also taken by firing Bob Bradley who provided a world class embarrassment to us.
Friday May 6, 2011 10:21 am
Fernando Sanchez very funny......who knew soccer fans had such a sense of humor
Friday May 6, 2011 8:58 am
Should have been done long ago. Don't hire a new guy until the head men are let go. (Sunil and Bradley) Wait for the new man in charge to hire his own staff. Hopefully the new man will be someone from outside the US Soccer family. Someone who has international experience and and knows how to put together a development program to produce young skillful players.
Friday May 6, 2011 5:16 am
He can't stay U-20 coach forever, can he? He should still stay on somewhere else though. Even if we hire a great foreign coach for the MNT or U-20 team, it does not mean our players will suddenly be granted technical skill. This will be a slow process and will take decades to development and it is also the difference between the US and top tier programs. I think Bradley did enough to stay at the helm but he will have to produce the same results as the previous 4 years to keep it.
Fernando Sanchez
Friday May 6, 2011 12:26 am
This is just a make up from Gulati...The way Gulati runs USA football seems like he is getting MONEY FROM MEXICO TO KEEP USA DOWN...
Coach Paco
Thursday May 5, 2011 11:40 pm
For crying out loud, it is about effing time!!! Don't forget that Gulati and Flynn probably just played some high school ball, and possibly recreational, and maybe some college ball, though some one once that gulati's rise to the top was soured as his forte was purely political and manipulation. As for Rongen, he's a throw-back and a member of the Arena bunch. Whether Ramos makes any difference, it sure as heck remains to be seen, but I ain't holding my breath!
Thursday May 5, 2011 9:20 pm
Coach Rongen is a good coach. It's unfortunate the US team didn't qualify for the U-20 tournament coming up in Colombia. They came mighty close to making the semis in 2003 had they held on with only seconds to spare, deep into injury time against Argentina... I wish him good luck and all the best... He will be fine...
Juan from L.A.
Thursday May 5, 2011 7:18 pm
Who is the best assistant coach in MLS? Or up and coming vote would be for Curt Onalfo and/or Octavio Zambrano. Onalfo is younger but both are experienced, know American style of soccer and would be a good fit in the US program.

In regards to Rongen I saw it coming. I emailed Sunil and luckily got an email back (which was surprising) and he said I'll wait til the storm is settle to analyze and then act in such manner. Good way of thought. Wouldn't mind if he stayed in some capacity to oversee the scouting talent program and aid both the U-20 and U-17 program in that manner only. But definitely the guy as a coach sucks.

FINALLY I don't see it for the calling of Porter. For God's sake one good season in college soccer. Need I remind you guys that college soccer is overrated with the unlimited substitutions and timeouts. C'mon now, this job as U-20 should go to a proven coach in professional environment
Thursday May 5, 2011 6:32 pm
I can't understand why it took this long. He should have been fired before he left Guatemala.
Thursday May 5, 2011 5:43 pm
Gulati is the one that needs to be given his marching orders. Failure to secure the World Cup should have signaled the end of his tenure.
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