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Ramos extends US deal as youth director, U20 coach

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Tab Ramos is one of the most influential people for U.S. Soccer.

It will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

[ MORE: Pulisic the Golden Boy? ]

Ramos, 50, has been in charge of the U.S. U-20 national team since Oct. 2011 and has held his role as the youth technical director since Nov. 2013.

In that time the U.S. has seen plenty of promising youngsters (Christian Pulisic, DeAndre Yedlin, Kellyn Acosta and Jordan Morris to name a few) graduate to the USMNT and Ramos’ leadership has been integral to that pathway.

Speaking to U.S. Soccer about his decision to sign a new deal as both the youth technical director and the U-20 coach, Ramos believes he can now help to accelerate the development of youth players.

“I am very excited to continue my work at U.S. Soccer as Youth Technical Director and U-20 Men’s National Team head coach,” Ramos said. “I am pleased with the historic results we have achieved on the field over the last few years as we continue pushing to set higher standards. We have provided great experiences to players who are now beginning to make room for themselves on the Senior National Team. My Youth Technical Director role gives me the opportunity to continue the integration of all our Youth National Teams as well as helping with the implementation of our Player Development Initiatives nationwide which will help our youth players develop at a much faster rate for years to come.”

With the likes of Cameron Carter-Vickers, Erik Palmer-Brown, Brooks Lennon, Tyler Adams and Josh Sargent all impressing for the U-20 side in both the CONCACAF Championship (which the U.S. won) and the U-20 World Cup (the U.S. reached the quarters) earlier this summer, it seems like Ramos is ready to push on the next crop of youngsters who can push for spot in Bruce Arena’s full national team.

Ramos’ resume as a player and coach is not only impressive but garners respect from every single person connected with U.S. Soccer. He played at three World Cups in a 13-year stint for the USMNT and was part of the coaching staff at the 2014 World Cup as well as leading numerous youth teams to their respective World Cups.

Very smart move from Sunil Gulati and Co.

U.S. U-20s fall to Panama to open CONCACAF Championship

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Well, that didn’t go according to plan.

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team suffered a 1-0 defeat against Panama to open Group B play in Saturday’s CONCACAF Championship match.

[ MORE: Burnley upset by fifth-division Lincoln in FA Cup ]

Despite playing down a man for over 70 minutes, Panama managed to find a winner in the first half when Leandro Avila beat Jonathan Klinsmann off of a lobbed effort inside the penalty area.

The U.S. was dealt a further blow in its first match of the tournament as captain and New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams was forced off at halftime with an apparent ankle injury.

Adams was seen hobbling on crutches at the start of the second stanza, leaving his status for the rest of the competition uncertain.

Jeremy Ebobisse gave Tab Ramos’ team their best chance to score in the 49th minute when the Portland Timbers forward nodded an effort off the crossbar from close range.

In all, the U.S. hit six shots on target to Panama’s one, but Ramos and co. now find themselves in a precarious position after dropping the opening match.

The U.S. will meet Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis in its two final group stage matches on Feb. 21 and Feb. 24, respectively. Haiti blasted St. Kitts, 5-1, in its opening fixture to give the island nation control of Group B.

Gedion Zelalem after US U-20 defeat to Serbia: “How much potential do we have? A lot.”

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The United States had their sights set on becoming the best American side at the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, but a unfortunate finish–a 6-5 penalty shootout loss to Serbia–eliminated the Stars and Stripes in the quarter final.

While making it that far was applaudable for the U.S., head coach Tab Ramos and the team echoed almost identical feelings on the heels of their bow out, where multiple PK attempts were missed to finalize defeat.

[RELATED: U-20 World Cup roundup–Brazil, Mali, Serbia, Senegal to the semi finals]

Arsenal youngster Gedion Zelalem, who started and played the entirety of the match for Ramos and Co., has acted as a key component in midfield for the duration of the tournament.

He noted that the journey was not the ideal result for his team, but commended the encouraging future of American soccer, which Zelalem believes has few limits.

“I think we’ve done well, but we also want to reach higher,” he said to FIFA.com. “We’re not satisfied just getting to quarter-finals. We want to be reaching finals and winning tournaments.”

“It’s getting bigger and better all the time,” he said of football in the US. “Major League Soccer definitely is and, at national team level, we’re also improving. Players are getting better on the ball and we’re starting to see a new style of play, keeping the ball and passing and moving.

“We’re definitely progressing. How much potential do we have? A lot. I think at the next World Cup you could see us do really well.”

We’ve heard the same opinion that the U.S. is on the verge of a breakthrough many times before, but to put this tournament into perspective, take a look at best-case scenarios of the past. The best conclusion to the U-20 World Cup came in 1989–a fourth-place resolution–with the presence of goalkeeper Kasey Keller and former Kansas City Wizards coach Bob Gansler

But the current U.S. U-20’s tied the highest win total (3) in the World Cup, only matched in 2007 and 2003. Not bad at all.

USA 1-0 Colombia: Heroic display puts 10-man USA into U-20 World Cup quarterfinals

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Against all the odds the U.S. national team U-20’s advanced to the quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, as the young Americans beat Colombia 1-0 in Wellington on Wednesday.

[ PREVIEW: USMNT vs. Germany ]

Tab Ramos’ side were second-best for most of the match but a clinical finish from Rubio Rubin in the second half, then a clutch penalty save from goalkeeper Zack Steffen late on after Kellyn Acosta had been sent off, handed the U.S. a spot in the last eight where they will meet Serbia on Sunday in Auckland.

Despite being outshot 24-8, the U.S. defense dug deep with Cameron Carter-Vickers and Matt Miazga rocks at the heart of the defense. Every single player for the U.S. kept their discipline and shape, as they have now reached the last eight for just the fifth time in history to emulate the likes of Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore who did the same with the U.S. back in 2007.

[ VIDEO: Watch Rubin’s goal, Steffen’s PK save ]

Early on in the first half the U.S. were dealt a blow as Bradford Jamieson went off injured and was replaced by Jordan Allen. Colombia were calm in possession and had plenty of the play in the first 45 minutes but failed to really test Steffen in goal for the U.S.

At the start of the second half Alexis Zapata clipped a delightful ball over the top to Jeison Lucumi but his shot was well-saved by Steffen who stayed tall. Colombia’s best chance of the game so far went begging. Moments later Lucumi set up Jarlan Barrera but he curled his effort wide.

Just when wave after wave of attack was coming from Colombia, the U.S. broke away and took the lead against the run of play.

A looping ball forward was nodded down my Emerson Hyndman to Paul Arriola and his blocked shot fell perfectly into Rubin’s path. The FC Utrecht striker instinctively hammered home his third goal of the tournament to put the U.S. 1-0 up and withing 30 minutes of reaching the quarterfinals.

[ VIDEO: Zelalem’s outrageous rabona ]

After going ahead the U.S. grew in confidence and were dangerous on the break as Colombia threw caution to the wind. Allen broke free but squandered a good chance, while Colombia managed to scramble the ball clear after a corner from the left caused plenty of problems.

Late on Colombia won a penalty kick as Acosta and Rodin Quinoes came together in the box and the latter went down rather easily but the referee pointed to the spot and showed Acosta a second yellow card as the U.S. were down to 10-men. However, Steffen emerged as the USA’s hero as he stopped Barrera’s weak penalty kick and moments later Arriola headed off the line superbly as Colombia piled the pressure on.

Despite being down a man the U.S. youngsters dug in and recorded a dramatic 1-0 win to book a spot in the quarterfinals against Serbia on Sunday. The dream of becoming world champions down under goes on.

LINEUPS

USA: Zack Steffen; Desevio Payne, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Matt Miazga, Kellyn Acosta; Marco Delgado, Emerson Hyndman, Gedion Zelalem (Tommy Thompson, 87′); Paul Arriola (John Requejo, 84′), Rubio Rubin, Brandon Jamieson (Jordan Allen, 11′)

Goal: Rubin (58′)

Colombia: Montero; Quinoes, Sanchez, Angulo, Quintero; Zapata (Rodriguez, 72′), Tello, Barrera, Lucumi (Ibarguen, 64′); Gutierrez (Quinones, 60′), Santos Borre

Ramos names final 20-man roster for CONCACAF U-20 Championship

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Tab Ramos has whittled down his roster to just 20 names ahead of the 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship later this month.

More than half of the roster plays its club ball outside of the United States, and just one player has received a full national team cap (Fulham’s Emerson Hyndman).

Notably preliminary roster members who haven’t made the final cut are Erik Palmer-Brown of Sporting KC, Rubio Rubin of FC Utrecht and Andrija Novakovich of Reading. In some of those cases, particularly Rubin, it’s likely they’ll be getting invites to the senior USMNT’s camp. Jurgen Klinsmann has said “8 to 10 players” of Olympic age (U-23) will be in his January camp.

[ MORE: Klinsmann talks Olympic team, Gold Cup prep ]

Representing Major League Soccer are defenders Matt Miazga and Tyler Turner, midfielders Romain Gall and Kellyn Acosta, and striker Tommy Thompson and Bradford Jamieson IV.

U.S. U-20 MNT roster

Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg)

Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Conor Donovan (N.C. State), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Shaquell Moore (Unattached), John Requejo (Club Tijuana), Tyler Turner (Orlando City)

Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana), Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham)

Forwards: Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Ben Spencer (Molde FK), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes)