Richie Williams is going back to work.
US Soccer announced on Monday that the former New York Red Bulls assistant has been named head coach of the US Under-18 men’s national team, effective immediately. He becomes the third head coach to be appointed for a US youth team under senior-team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
“I’m honored to be given the chance to coach the U-18 men’s national team, and I want to thank the US Soccer Federation for the opportunity,” Williams said in a press release. “I’m excited about the prospect of helping our young elite players develop their abilities and move them in the direction of progressing to our other national teams.”
Williams joins U-23 head coach Caleb Porter and U-20 coach Tab Ramos — officially hired on last week — in identifying and developing players “while integrating the philosophies of the full national team.”
“By working together with Jurgen Klinsmann, Caleb Porter and Tab Ramos,” Williams said, “we will have an integrated approach in developing players who will fit in with our style of play.”
Williams returns to coaching after a six-year tenure with the Red Bulls that ended in Feburary when the club let him go. Prior to his tenure in New York, Williams served for two seasons as assistant coach at the University of Virginia, his alma mater. The New Jersey native earned 20 caps for the US national team as a midfielder, including a winners medal from the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
An MLS original, the former midfielder was part of the early D.C. United dynasty that won three MLS Cups, two Supporters' Shields, the US Open Cup and the CONCACAF Champions' Cup between 1996 and '99. Williams also spent the '01 and '03 seasons with his hometown MetroStars.