Tab Ramos greets a young fan at the Houston Dynamo Fan Fest 2020 event. (Photo: Houston Dynamo)
Houston Dynamo Manager Tab Ramos joined “Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis” Tuesday night on KFNC – ESPN Houston 97.5 FM. Among the topics of conversation were the Dynamo during the current MLS moratorium, the Soccertown USA film and the recent termination of U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy.
Dynamo team-building during league-wide moratorium
“In general, the most important thing for me out of this whole thing, has been how I’ve gotten to know the team.
I spent about two months with the team in preseason, a month and a half, in a preseason in which we have so many players, 35 players, and now we can narrow it down to our contracted players and be in contact with them a lot more through the week and get to know their real stories, their life. We do a lot of team-building and I feel like we’re in a much better place than we were four or five weeks ago.
We’ve got the players to open up about who they are, where they come from, what their town or city or state or country is like. There may be a things we don’t know about so I really feel like as a team, as a whole, has gotten closer through this.”
The Story of Kearny, New Jersey
WORLD PREMIERE | 65min | USA | 2018 | English |
Directed by Robert Penzel, Produced by Kiko Doran, Tom McCabe and Kirk Rudell
Before they played in the World Cup together, Tab Ramos, John Harkes, and Tony Meola were three kids from the same place: Kearny, New Jersey. A small working-class town, Kearny had a passion for a game that, back then, their country didn’t share. It had a vibrant street-soccer scene, a strong youth club, a championship culture at the high school, and a history of soccer dreams. Together, Tab, John, and Tony grew up to form the backbone of the U.S. National Team that willed its way to famous victories and earned the world’s respect in both the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, laying the foundation for soccer’s explosion in American and inspiring future generations to play the game.
“What I really like about it, it’s a really nice story about a little town of the U.S. in which soccer has always been thriving, really, for a hundred years.
In a town that not many people knew about, in a town that I was lucky to move in to, in a town that pulled its weight – all the way back in the 1930 World Cup and all the way up in the 1990 World Cup and the ’94 World Cup and the ’98 World Cup.
The story of Kearny, Soccertown USA, is a great story and I happen to be in it. Obviously it’s a documentary but it’s a nice little story that anyone who likes soccer would like to see.”
Ripples from the end of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy
It is with profound disappointment that U.S. Soccer has made the determination to end the operation of the Development Academy, effective immediately. pic.twitter.com/WdnmrsIqZr
— Development Academy (@ussoccer_da) April 15, 2020
“How it’s going to change moving forward? I’m not sure. Obviously, the MLS has stepped in and will take the reigns moving forward and hopefully will continue to make improvements.
…the DA existed for 13 years and, in those 13 years, there’s a lot of important things that happened. Coaches learned about the importance of getting their licenses, about being a well-educated coach. Clubs learned about the fact that training is more important than the games. That you have to have a better ratio of training sessions to games because, when you go to the games, most players don’t touch the ball as much so you need to be practicing more.
There was a lot of things that happened within clubs like naming a director of coaching that could not put a curriculum together, a technical director who could implement it, so there’s a lot of good things that happened during the last 13 years that were not happening before – at least not everywhere. Certain clubs, maybe, but this became, sort of, a nationwide phenomenon.
Although, yeah, we can talk about some of the things that we can all argue about like whether eliminating high school soccer was a good thing or not. Whether the calendar year from January 1st to December 31st was a good thing or not. There’s things we can argue about over the years but there’s no argument, in the fact that, the Development Academy did move the game forward.
I think what’s a little bit sad about this situation is the fact that it almost seems like U.S. Soccer just checked out and left a lot of clubs likely stranded, who had spent a lot of money over the last however many years trying to follow along what U.S. Soccer wanted.
It’s not so much about the MLS clubs, it’s about all the rest of the clubs that were not in MLS who spent the money and who wanted to be part of something big and who, all of a sudden, are left on the street. That’s the difficult thing but there’s no question that the DA, for a period of 13 years, moved the game forward.”
Hear the full interview below or download the podcast, available on iTunes and Google Podcasts.
“Soccer Matters with Glenn Davis” airs Tuesdays on ESPN Houston 97.5 FM (7 p.m.) and Wednesdays on The Horn 104.9 FM in Austin (7 p.m.)