Thomas Rongen is back in Major League Soccer, but under a different capacity this time. Toronto FC on Friday announced that the veteran coach has been named director of TFC's Academy program.
"We are very pleased to welcome Thomas Rongen to Toronto FC," head coach Aaron Winter said in a statement. "He has both great coaching experience with youth and in the MLS. Thomas will be a welcomed addition to our club and an important asset for the continued development of our Academy program.”
At the MLS level, Rongen led D.C. United to an MLS Cup title in 1999 and won the MLS Coach of the Year award in 1996 with the Tampa Bay Mutiny. He also had head coaching stints at New England and Chivas USA.
The 55-year-old has plenty of experience guiding young talent, twice serving as US Under-20 national team head coach, first from 2001 to 2005 and again from 2006 to 2011. He coached the US at both the 2007 and '09 FIFA U-20 World Cups.
Most recently, Rongen served as head coach for the American Samoa national team, which he guided to a historic 2-1 victory in a World Cup qualifier in November, its first-ever after 30 straight losses over a 17-year span.