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Tab Ramos is the Penny Hardaway of american soccer

Alright hold on, just hear me out.

NCAA Basketball: Memphis at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or are still new to full time american soccer coverage), you’ve probably heard that Tab Ramos is the new head coach for the Houston Dynamo. After the hiring, a few people who aren’t the most involved in the MLS had one question when they heard the news: who?

If you’re anything like me, you either have people like my father who’s a soccer snob and will only watch European footy, or like my boy Greg here who is trying but grew up watching the more established Houston sport teams. When news like this breaks, you’ll have both types of people asking you who is being talked about and what it means, but don’t fret, I am here to help.

Penny

For my soccer friends who may not know, Penny Hardaway was a 90s phenom in the NBA. From 1993-1998, Hardaway took the basketball world by storm, was one of the best players in the league, becoming a three-time all star and even made the NBA Finals in his second season (all of Houston loved those finals).

After his playing career was over, Hardaway was recruited to come back home and coach in his hometown of Memphis. He became the Lester Middle School basketball coach and then became the Memphis East High School head basketball coach. Most notably, Hardaway became an AAU coach and grew a youth team into one of the best in the entire country.

After years of youth success he was recently hired at the University of Memphis to bring the once proud program back to prominence. In the short time he’s been at U of M, he already has the top recruiting class in the country and is off to rounding success.

Tab

Now for my non-soccer friends who may not know, Tab Ramos was a 90s phenom in american soccer. Ramos was one of the first americans ever to play in Europe as he played in Spain for six years, making 104 appearances. When Ramos came back to the states, he was the first ever MLS signed player. He became a staple for the MetroStars, making 121 appearances and was a three-time all star.

After his playing career was over, Ramos was recruited to come back home and started a youth soccer program in his home state of New Jersey. After years of success, he was hired to become a U-20 US Men’s National Team assistant coach and then promoted to head coach. SInce becoming the coach, the U-20 team has reached unprecedented success. The U-20 team won the CONCACAF championship for the first time in their history....twice. The team has also made the quarterfinal of the U-20 World Cup three times in the past six years, the team had only made the quarterfinals three times in its 38-year history prior.

After years of youth success he was recently hired at the Houston Dynamo to bring the once proud organization back to prominence. Hopefully in the future, I can write about how he already has the top academy in the country and is off to rounding success. However time will only tell if he is even more like Penny Hardaway.