It what was one of the worst kept secrets in American soccer, the Houston Dynamo Friday named Tab Ramos as its head coach.
Ramos, 53, joins the Dynamo after serving as the head coach of the U.S. Under-20 national team since 2011 and as the U.S. Soccer youth technical director since 2013. During that time, he guided the U-20s to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 and three consecutive quarterfinal appearances. He also was assistant coach to Jurgen Klinsmann including the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where the U.S. team advanced to the Round of 16.
Ramos directed the United States to two consecutive titles at the Concacaf U-20 Championships, including the country’s first Concacaf U-20 title in 2017 with a win over Honduras in the final. Ramos followed that up by repeating as champion in 2018 with a 2-0 defeat of arch-rival Mexico in the final.
“I’m excited to join the Houston Dynamo organization and I’m looking forward to the challenge of leading this group of players,” Ramos said. “This is a club that has winning in its DNA, a club with a clear vision for the future centered around development and a team-first mentality, and Houston is a city that has tremendous untapped potential as a soccer market, both on and off the field. This is a fantastic opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Ramos was one of the most decorated players in American soccer history. Playing in a variety of roles in the midfield, the Uruguay native earned 81 caps with the national team and represented the USA at the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups, 1995 Copa América and the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Ramos was inducted in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005. He was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1990 and was the Concacaf Player of the Year in 1994 after leading the United States to the knockout stages of the World Cup for the first time since 1950.
“I am incredibly excited that we were able to bring a coach with Tab’s résumé and background in to lead our team,” Dynamo controlling owner Gabriel Brener said. “He has a deep understanding of the needs, wants, goals and challenges that our players face, having been an elite player himself; and he has a deep understanding of how to develop young players from his tenure with the Under-20 national team. Most importantly, we believe he will be a great fit within the club culture that we are working to create on and off the pitch.”
After retiring in 2002, Ramos began his coaching career at the grassroots level and has steadily worked his way up the coaching ladder. In 2004 he founded the youth club NJSA 04 in his home state of New Jersey, building it into one of the strongest clubs in the Garden State. He joined the U-20 national team as an assistant on Thomas Rongen’s staff in 2009.
“Tab did a fantastic job guiding our men’s youth national team program and earned unmatched success with our Under-20 men’s national team,” U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro said. “We thank him for his tireless dedication and achievements during the past eight years and wish him all the best as a head coach in Major League Soccer.”