Sunday, May 27, 2018
Sports

Ex-Rowdies, Mutiny coach Rongen named head scout for U.S. men's team

Former Tampa Bay Rowdies and Mutiny and coach Thomas Rongen has been hired as his chief scout for the U.S. men's soccer team by new head coach Bruce Arena, U.S. Soccer said Wednesday.

Rongen, 60, coached the Rowdies for less than one season in 2015 before being fired.

He was one of MLS's 10 original coaches and led the Mutiny in its first season, 1996, to the first MLS title. He spent the next two seasons coaching New England in MLS and took over D.C. United for the 1999 season after Arena left for his first stint coaching the U.S. team.

Rongen led D.C. United to the 1999 MLS title.

He was U.S. under-20 coach from 2001-04 and 2006-11. The team qualified for all three under-20 World Cups during his tenure and made the quarterfinals in 2003 and 2007.

Arena, 65, coached the United States from 1998-2006, leading the Americans to the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals. He returned in November when Jurgen Klinsmann was fired after a 0-2 start in the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Arena also is bringing much of his L.A. Galaxy coaching staff from MLS. Dave Sarachan, Pat Noonan and Kenny Arena — Bruce's son — have been appointed as assistant coaches. Matt Reis will be goalkeeping coach.

"The entire staff has a great amount of playing and coaching experience both at the international and professional level," Arena said. "With the need to hit the ground running, it's even more critical that we have a staff that knows the player pool, shares a philosophy on how we approach the game and has knowledge and experience in the international arena.

"In different ways this group ticks all those boxes."

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