US Soccer took a big step toward identifying the future of the national-team system with the announcements on Thursday of Caleb Porter as Under-23 national team coach and Tab Ramos as the Under-20 team coach.
Porter, in his sixth season as head coach at the University of Akron, will remain in place at his current position while beginning preparation for qualification for next summer’s Olympic Games. The CONCACAF qualification tournament, hosted by the US, will begin in March.
“We are excited to have Caleb join our youth national team staff,” US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said in a statement. “Still early in his career, Caleb has been extremely successful and has demonstrated the ability to mentor and develop young players. A proven winner, we believe he will do a great job of leading our Under-23 men’s national team as they look to qualify for the Olympic Games next summer.”
Last year, Porter coached the Zips to their first-ever NCAA Championship, with seven players departing for the pro ranks at the end of the 2010 season. He has coached numerous current MLS players, including Perry Kitchen, Teal Bunbury, Steve Zakuani and Zarek Valentin.
Former US men’s national team star and MetroStars midfielder Ramos will succeed Thomas Rongen as the head coach of the Under-20s. Ramos and US youth technical director Claudio Reyna will oversee a training camp for both the U-20s and U-23s in Germany from Nov. 7-16.
Travis Clark covers college and youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com.