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Former USMNT captain Thomas Dooley selected to lead Philippines national team

Thomas Dooley

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Former US international and World Cup veteran Thomas Dooley has reportedly found a new job that puts him in rare company among American soccer coaches.

Dooley has been selected to become the head coach of the Philippines national team, according to a post on the team’s official Twitter feed on Friday, making him just the third American currently in a managerial role for a national team.

Jack Stefanowski (Nepal) and Ian Mork (Belize) are also in charge of their respective teams, but the 52-year-old Dooley is far and away the most recognizable face of the group. Originally born in Germany and a Bundesliga veteran for more than a decade, Dooley joined the US national team in 1992 and went on to play in two World Cups.

He served as the captain of the team’s ill-fated bid in France in 1998 and appeared in 81 games for the US before retiring from international play in 1999.

Dooley also played for both the Columbus Crew and the MetroStars, and was named to the MLS Best XI in 1997 and 1998. In 2010 he gave an interview stating he was once interested in coaching Toronto FC (the job eventually went to Preki) and later spoke to D.C. United about their head coaching position (the club chose Ben Olsen).

“Very tough selection process, but quite confident that the selection of Thomas Dooley as Azkals coach will bring the team to another level,” Phillippines manager Stephen Dan Palami tweeted out Friday.

“Final negotiations re terms of contract still ongoing but will be finalized when he arrives next week.”

Other prominent American coaches who had led international clubs include Bob Bradley (Egypt, 2011-2013), Steve Sampson (Costa Rica, 2002-04) and Thomas Rongen, who led American Samoa to the first win in the team’s history during a brief coaching spell in 2011.