HOUSTON – Tab Ramos is the new head coach of the Houston Dynamo, the club announced Friday afternoon.
“I’m excited to join the Houston Dynamo organization, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of leading this group of players,” Ramos said in a prepared statement. “This is a club that has winning in its DNA, a club with a clear vision for the future centered around development and a team-first mentality, and Houston is a city that has tremendous untapped potential as a soccer market, both on and off the field. This is a fantastic opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Ramos is an American soccer icon. He earned 81 caps with the United States men’s national team and played in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups — 1990 was the USMNT’s first World Cup appearance since 1950. He played with Real Betis in Spain and Mexican giant Tigres, and Ramos finished his club career with the New York MetroStars from 1996 to 2002. The midfielder was inducted into the United States Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005.
Ramos has coached the United States under-20 men’s national team since 2011, leading the group to unprecedented success. The U-20s have played in the past four World Cups and made three consecutive quarterfinals appearances. Ramos’ track record as a developmental coach was attractive to a Dynamo team that resides in an area rich with youth talent.
“I am incredibly excited that we were able to bring a coach with Tab’s resume and background in to lead our team,” Dynamo controlling owner Gabriel Brener said. “He has a deep understanding of the needs, wants, goals and challenges that our players face, having been an elite player himself, and he has a deep understanding of how to develop young players from his tenure with the under-20 national team. Most importantly, we believe he will be a great fit within the club culture that we are working to create on and off the pitch.”
Ramos has been linked to Major League Soccer jobs in the past, including FC Cincinnati in June. In May, Ramos said he was focusing on the 2019 U-20 World Cup and not ready to take over an MLS team.
“At some point, yes, I would like to,” he admitted. With the World Cup over, that point has come.
The Dynamo have not made the playoffs in the past two years. Previous head coach Wilmer Cabrera was fired in August on the heels of Houston’s fourth consecutive loss. The Dynamo finished this season 10th in the Western Conference on 4o points, eight points out of the final playoff position.
In addition to an on-field turnaround, Ramos will be charged with improving Houston’s woeful attendance figures. The Dynamo averaged 15,674 fans per home game in 2019, per Soccer Stadium Digest, ranking 20th in the 24-team league.
As for interim head coach Davy Arnaud, nothing has been confirmed about what role he will now take on in the Dynamo organization.