Rongen out as head coach of US U-20s

A month after his side failed to qualify for the U-20 World Cup, Thomas Rongen is out as coach of the United States Under-20 team.

The veteran coach has been relieved of his duties by the US Soccer Federation after the U-20s came up short at last month's CONCACAF Championship in Guatemala. The US were upset by the host nation in the semifinals, eliminating them from one of CONCACAF's berths in this summer's World Cup in Colombia.

While Rongen has been relieved of his day-to-day duties with the youth side, he will remain under contract with the USSF in some capacity until his existing deal expires on Dec. 31. Details of the arrangement are still being worked out, but he will likely serve in an advisory capacity.

According to USSF spokesman Neil Buethe, the federation and Rongen will discuss in the coming months his possible continued involvement beyond the end of the year.

While the Dutchman's coaching results have been mixed as head of the U-20s, his connections and research have proven invaluable. The former D.C. United and Chivas USA coach has spent the past three cycles scouring the globe for American-eligible players and has developed the deepest and arguably most talented U-20 roster ever.

While the USSF conducts a coaching search, former US national-team star Tab Ramos will lead the U-20s on an eight-day trip to France from May 13-20. They play the French U-20 national team on May 17 and 19.

Ramos served as an assistant to Rongen during the CONCACAF Championship, but according to the federation, he is not the interim coach while a permanent replacement is sought. The USSF has not set a timetable on hiring a new coach.


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