Williams named U.S.
January 24, 2012
CHICAGO---Former U.S. National Team midfielder Richie Williams was named head Coach of the U.S. Under-17 National Team by U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gualti on Tuesday.
|Ex-New York Red Bulls assistant coach Richie Williams was named coach of the U.S. men's Under-17 team.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
Williams will oversee U.S. Soccer's U-17 residency program from Bradenton, Fla., where the country's top players reside year-round and train in a professional environment.
He succeeds former B.W. Gottschee and Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association ODP coach Wilmer Cabrera, who did not agree to a new contract with U.S. Soccer.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to coach the U.S. U-17 Men's National Team and be with the players full-time in the Residency Program," Williams said. "It is a great responsibility as the players kick off the cycle toward the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup, but it is also an excellent platform for introducing them in more detail to the philosophies and style of play that are being integrated throughout the National Team programs."
Williams had been the head coach of the U.S. U-18 Men's National Team and the Mid-Atlantic Region technical advisor for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, but will leave both positions to immediately take over the U-17 Residency Program full-time in Bradenton.
Williams was an assistant coach with the New York Red Bulls from 2006-2011. He was fired prior last season under mysterious circumstances that the team's upper management refused to explain.
"Richie is an ideal candidate to guide the development of our young National Team players while also preparing the team during the next year to qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup," Gulati said in a statement. "His experience as a player and coach at the highest levels will allow him to continue to provide a professional environment for the players in our U-17 Residency Program."
Williams began his coaching career in 2005 as an assistant coach for his alma mater, the University of Virginia. He represented the U.S. National Team for five years from 1998-2002, compiling 20 appearances and 11 starts. He also won three MLS Cups with D.C. United in 1996, 1997 and 1999.