Thomas Rongen

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Thomas Rongen
Rongen during his time as American Samoan head coach- 2014-02-08 23-46.jpg
Rongen during his time as American Samoan head coach.
Personal information
Full name Thomas Rongen
Date of birth (1956-10-31) October 31, 1956 (age 57)
Place of birth Amsterdam, Netherlands
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Midfielder / Forward
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1975–1979 Ajax Amsterdam 0 (0)
1979–1980 Los Angeles Aztecs 40 (6)
1979–1980 Los Angeles Aztecs (indoor) 12 (3)
1980 Washington Diplomats 10 (0)
1981–1983 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 83 (4)
1984 Minnesota Strikers 5 (0)
1984–1985 Minnesota Strikers (indoor) 18 (0)
1985 South Florida Sun
1985–1986 Chicago Sting (indoor) 14 (1)
1987 Houston Dynamos
1988–1993 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Teams managed
1984–1988 Pope John Paul II High School
1987–1990 Nova Southeastern University (assistant)
1988 Fort Lauderdale Strikers (assistant)
1988 South Plantation High School
1989–1994 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
1991–1995 Nova Southeastern University
1996 Tampa Bay Mutiny
1997–1998 New England Revolution
1999–2001 D.C. United
2001–2005 USA U-20
2005 Chivas USA
2006–2011 USA U-20
2011 American Samoa
2012–2014 Toronto FC (academy director)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Thomas Rongen (born October 31, 1956 in Amsterdam) is a Dutch football coach.[1] He was formerly the head coach of D.C. United, the Sporting Director of Major League Soccer club Chivas USA, and the coach of the American Samoa national association football team. He played professionally in the North American Soccer League, Major Indoor Soccer League, and American Soccer League.

Player[edit]

Rongen began his playing career with the reserve team of Ajax Amsterdam, with whom he played as defensive midfielder and defender from 1975 to 1979, he never played for the first team. In 1979, Rongen moved to the United States, joining the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League. Rongen spent the entire 1979 season with the Aztecs. He then began the 1980 season in Los Angeles. On July 12, 1980, the Aztecs sold his contract to the Washington Diplomats.[2] The team folded at the end of the season and Rongen moved to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers where he would remain for the next three seasons. In 1984, Joe Robbie, owner of the Strikers, moved the team to Minneapolis, Minnesota where it was renamed the Minnesota Strikers. Rongen moved with the team and spent the 1984 outdoor season there.[3] The league collapsed at the end of the season and the Strikers moved to the Major Indoor Soccer League for the 1984–1985 season. On May 22, 1985, Rongen joined the South Florida Sun of the United Soccer League.[4] The league lasted six games, then collapsed.[5] In October 1985, Rongen signed as a free agent with the Chicago Sting of MISL. At the end of the season, he moved to Florida to coach youth and high school soccer. In 1987, he played for the Houston Dynamos of the Lone Star Soccer Alliance. On January 8, 1988, he became the first player to sign with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the newly established American Soccer League.[6] He continued to play for the Strikers until 1993.

Coach[edit]

Rongen began his coaching career as an assistant with the Pope John Paul II High School boy's team in 1984. On June 27, 1986, he was named as head coach.[7] During his tenure coaching PJPII, he took the team to a 32–6–5 record and he was a two time Sun-Sentinel Coach of the Year. He resigned from his position on May 16, 1988.[8] He also coached with the Plantation Eagles Soccer Club.[9] This led to his selection as coach of the Florida U-23 soccer team which defeated the U.S. national team with goals from Zen Luzniak and Henry Gutierrez in a March 8, 1987 scrimmage.[10] Rongen also served as an assistant with the Nova Southeastern University men's soccer team.[11] In August 1988, he was hired to coach the South Plantation High School boy's team.[12] On February 8, 1989, he replaced Wim Suurbier as head coach of the Strikers.[13] He took the Strikers to the 1989 ASL title and then skippered the team to a victory over the San Diego Nomads in the national championship game.[14] He was the 1990 APSL Coach of the Year.[15] In August 1994, he resigned as head coach.[16] In November 1990, he replaced Hal Henderson as head coach of Nova Southeastern University.[17] He coached the team for five seasons, compiling a 50–35–8 record.

Rongen was one of the inaugural coaches in MLS, coaching the Tampa Bay Mutiny in their first season in 1996, with whom he won the MLS regular season, and also won MLS Coach of the Year Award. After a year with the Mutiny, Rongen moved to the New England Revolution, which he would coach in 1997 and 1998. After the Revolution, Rongen succeeded Bruce Arena as the head coach of D.C. United, which he would lead to an MLS Cup in 1999. However, Rongen lost his job with United in 2001, and was replaced with Ray Hudson. Upon leaving United, Rongen was appointed head coach of the United States U-20 men's national soccer team, which he coached from 2001 to his appointment as head coach of Chivas USA for the team's inaugural season in 2005. However, ten games into the season, with the team's record standing at one win, one tie, and eight losses, he was let go of his head coaching duties.

Rongen was appointed head coach of the Under-20 United States men's national team again in 2006 and led the team to the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He was fired from that position in May 2011 after a series of major gaffes, the most striking being in 2007 when Rongen lost the U.S. national team a future star defender Neven Subotic, a Serbian-American who has won the Bundesliga and reached the Champions League final, by publicly criticizing him and subsequently leaving Subotic off the U.S. U-20 World Cup roster.

Rongen became director of TFC Academy prior to the 2012 season, joining countrymen Aron Winter and Bob de Klerk at Toronto FC.[18]

American Samoa[edit]

With Rongen at the helm, American Samoa registered its first ever victory on November 22, 2011, against Tonga, in the 2014 World Cup Qualification. Under Rongen, American Samoa reached 173rd in the world, its highest ever ranking. His work with the American Samoa football team is at the centre of the 2014 British documentary, Next Goal Wins.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vujcic, Djuradj (May 30, 2012). "Inside the MLS: Thomas Rongen". Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ Dips Buy Aztecs' Rongen Washington Post, The (DC) – Saturday, July 12, 1980
  3. ^ The Year in American Soccer – 1984
  4. ^ EX-STRIKER RONGEN SIGNS WITH SUN Miami Herald, The (FL) – Thursday, May 23, 1985
  5. ^ The Year in American Soccer – 1985
  6. ^ STRIKERS GET UNIFORMS, SCHEDULE—AND A PLAYER Sun-Sentinel – Wednesday, January 20, 1988
  7. ^ BEAN LEADS CANADIAN OPEN BY 1; AINGE WOULD SUPPORT DRUG TESTING Sun-Sentinel – Saturday, June 28, 1986
  8. ^ RONGEN STEPS DOWN AS PJP II SOCCER COACH Sun-Sentinel – Tuesday, May 17, 1988
  9. ^ FORMER STRIKER FINDS CALLING COACHING YOUTH Sun-Sentinel – Sunday, December 7, 1986
  10. ^ FLORIDA UNDER-23 SURPRISES U.S. NATIONALS Sun-Sentinel – Monday, March 9, 1987
  11. ^ SOCCER COACH QUITS AT NOVA Miami Herald, The (FL) – Tuesday, March 1, 1988
  12. ^ RONGEN , DOOLEY NAMED AS SOUTH PLANTATION SOCCER COACHES Sun-Sentinel – Tuesday, August 30, 1988
  13. ^ STRIKERS PICK RONGEN AS COACH Miami Herald, The (FL) – Wednesday, February 8, 1989
  14. ^ The Year in American Soccer – 1989
  15. ^ The Year in American Soccer – 1990
  16. ^ STRIKERS COACH QUITS BECAUSE OF BURNOUT Miami Herald, The (FL) – Wednesday, August 17, 1994
  17. ^ RONGEN TO BE NOVA 'S COACH Sun-Sentinel – Saturday, November 3, 1990
  18. ^ "Toronto FC hires former U.S. U-20 coach". CBC News. January 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ Kev Geoghegan (6 May 2014). "Next Goal Wins for 'world's worst football team'". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Position Created
Chivas USA Head Coach
2005
Succeeded by
Javier Ledesma (Interim)