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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Tab Ramos: Concacaf power shifting away from Mexico to USMNT

“This makes me think back to 2017 when the US team didn’t qualify to the World Cup and everybody said, ‘We have to blow up the system, the system is not working. All the youth has to be redone, we need to blow up the Development Academy,’” said Ramos, who was capped 81 times as a USMNT midfielder. “All these things that came out and at the moment I remember saying, ‘This is not the problem, we have great players. The only problem at the time was the senior national team.’”

Several younger players that Ramos coached at the 2019 U-20 World Cup, including fullback Sergino Dest and forward Timothy Weah, are now USMNT stars under head coach Gregg Berhalter. Former Philadelphia Union center back Mark McKenzie and one-time FC Dallas homegrown defender Chris Richards were also key parts of that U-20 squad, then joined the subsequent senior-team talent boost.

Further, Ramos said the integration of young talent has done wonders.

“Once that changed over, here you go, we have the fruit of what we have,” Ramos said. “We’re playing basically the Gold Cup with what in theory would not be the best team we could put on the field, and they do a great job.”

During World Cup Qualifiers for Qatar 2022, the USMNT will face Mexico on Nov. 12 at FC Cincinnati‘s TQL Stadium and on March 24 away from home.


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