Tab Ramos is leaving his post as U.S. Under-20 men's national team coach to take over as manager of the Houston Dynamo, the club announced on Friday, a day after multiple reports claimed it was a done deal.
Ramos has never coached at the club level before but was an assistant under Jurgen Klinsmann with the U.S. men's national team and oversaw the U-20s since 2011. He guided the youth national team to three straight quarterfinal appearances at the FIFA U-20 World Cup but was not considered for the senior men's national team job after Klinsmann and Bruce Arena failed to coach the U.S. to the 2018 World Cup.
Instead he'll step in at BBVA Compass Stadium, where Davy Arnaud had been the interim manager following Wilmer Cabrera's midseason dismissal. Houston is a two-time MLS Cup champion (2006, 2007) and appeared in the 2011 and 2012 finals, losing to the LA Galaxy both times. Since then, it's been a mixed batch of results, with the club making the playoffs just twice (2013, 2017) and missing out the last two years.
With cultivating youth Ramos's specialty, it will be interesting to see how the Dynamo build their squad. Despite the club's location in the fertile soccer ground of the Houston area, its academy has not produced with the same efficiency as other clubs like FC Dallas, Real Salt Lake and the Philadelphia Union, with Houston instead building around the likes of foreign attacking players Mauro Manotas, Alberth Elis.
"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 in a statement. “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.”
Ramos's departure leaves another vacancy on the youth level at U.S. Soccer. Outside of U-23 coach Jason Kreis and U-17 coach Raphael Wicky, no age-specific team on the men's side has a full-time head coach.