Hartford Athletic names National Soccer Hall of Famer Tab Ramos as head coach

Photo of Paul Doyle

Tab Ramos, one of the biggest names in U.S. soccer history, is coming to Connecticut as head coach of the Hartford Athletic.

The Athletic introduced Ramos as the new coach Monday. Ramos, a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, will take over the team on Sept. 1. His first match as head coach will be on Sept. 10 when the Athletic hosts FC Tulsa in a USL Championship match at Trinity Health Stadium in Hartford.

Former UConn coach Ray Reid, Hartford’s Technical Director, will continue to coach the team until Ramos arrives. Reid has been leading the team since Harry Watling resigned in late June.

Ramos, 55, was coach of the U.S. U20 National Team from 2011 to 2019,. leading the team to the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 while making a U.S.-record three consecutive quarterfinal appearances. He was also Jurgen Klinsmann’s assistant coach for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where the U.S. men advanced to the Round of 16.

In 2020 and 2021, Ramos served as head coach of the Houston Dynamo of the MLS.

Ramos played professionally for 12 years. He earned 81 caps with the U.S. Men’s National Team and represented the United States in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups. He also participated in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

He was also the first player ever to sign an MLS contract, signing with the MetroStars in 1995 — the franchise that would later would become the New York Red Bulls. He played seven seasons for the MetroStars and was a three-time MLS All-Star.

“Tab Ramos is a giant in American soccer and among the most highly regarded coaches in the country. We are thrilled to have him as our Head Coach,” Athletic Chairman Bruce Mandell said in a statement. “Our goal is to bring championships to Hartford, and there is no coach better suited to get us there than Tab Ramos. He raises the bar for our technical staff and soccer operations and will provide critical direction to our expanding youth academy program. I look forward to seeing Tab and Technical Director Ray Reid work together to take our club to the top.”

Said Ramos, “I am honored to be named the Head Coach of Hartford Athletic. I want to thank Bruce Mandell and the entire ownership group, Ray Reid, and the whole Hartford Athletic organization for partnering with me on this exciting opportunity. Hartford Athletic is a project with endless potential, and I am so impressed by the passionate fan base we have here already. We are all hungry and motivated to see our team succeed, and the entire organization from ownership on down is determined to invest in our club and win. We have all the building blocks to be successful, and I am ready to get to work.”

Ramos was inducted in the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005. He was born in Uruguay, attended high school in New Jersey and played at NC State.