DALLAS — Don’t tell Tab Ramos how the first season of "True Detective" ended or ask for a review of that new restaurant that just opened. He probably hasn’t had time to check it out.
But that’s OK with him.
“I literally work from the moment I open my eyes till I go to sleep and I work soccer all day, so I couldn’t ask for anything better,” he said after his U.S. Under-20 team beat Fluminense in a Dallas Cup semifinal Friday.
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The U-20s ran out of steam in the tournament final, but Ramos won’t have too much time to dwell on the defeat. He flew out to California to oversee the first U-21 camp the United States has called with an eye toward preparing for the 2016 Olympics.
Ramos has his eye toward a lot of things at the moment. In addition to being the head coach of the U-20 squad and running the U-21 camp, he was promoted by Jurgen Klinsmann to assistant coach of the senior national team. That move came about only days before the United States took on Mexico in a friendly and months before the World Cup in Brazil.
His official title is youth technical director, but that belies the former U.S. midfielder’s current responsibilities.
“It’s been difficult, but it’s really been fun for me,” he said. “To be in all these positions, just to be contributing to U.S. Soccer in all different ways, for me I couldn’t ask for any more, really. I love what I do.”
With career stops in Spain, Mexico and MLS, Ramos has plenty of connections he can call on who, like himself, are now doing extensive scouting and research. That leads to finding players like Jesus Vazquez, who plays for Tigres in Mexico as Ramos did in 1995-96.
The 47-year-old’s charges seem to enjoy playing under someone who achieved the amount of success he did as a player and also appreciate the forward-thinking style he likes to employ.
“Tab’s a great coach. Every day he pushes us to push forward and to get in the attack and find goals and looking for goals,” said Rubio Rubin, an 18-year-old attacker who played in the Dallas Cup. “We don’t settle for one goal, we don’t settle for two, we keep going, we keep pushing.
“I really like the attacking momentum. You know, it’s our first tournament. We’re looking forward to the future and working with Tab.”
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