When the U.S. men's Under-20 national team failed to qualify for the U-20 World Cup for the first time in seven tries, and with one of the best collections of talent in recent memory, head coach Thomas Rongen was at the top of those facing blame for the failure.
That failure has cost Rongen his job. After 10 years at the helm of the Under-20 team, Rongen has been relieved of his duties, U.S. Soccer confirmed to FOX Soccer on Thursday.
There is no timetable on finding a replacement, but former U.S. national team star Tab Ramos is handling head coaching duties on a U.S. Under-20 team trip to France later this month. Ramos is not the interim head coach, though he could conceivably be considered a candidate to replace Rongen. ...
See the full story here, courtesy of ESPN.
Kicking Back Comments:
I wish Thomas well. We have dealt with each other before and he has always struck me as a classy guy. It did remind me however ... There are times that coaches get particularly animated. Sometimes it is because they have a bee in their bonnet about something completely unrelated to the game at hand. Sometimes they are upset about something inside the field for that day. Sometimes they are concerned for their job and the match you are refereeing can make a difference.
As a referee, we need to be empathetic to the fact that coaches are paid at the higher levels, even the club level, and their continued employment often is contingent on what a team's win-loss record is. While not the fault of a referee if the ball does not roll the right way that day, it does have an impact, a real life impact, on the paid staff.
This is not to imply that a referee need do anything more than what they are to manage a match, except be aware that someones livelihood may depend on the results. Yes it is a game, but for some, it is also a job they feed their family with.