BRIAN SCIARETTA - Thursday, March 25, 2010
As the US Under-20 national team prepares for the Dallas Cup, head coach Thomas Rongen will be assisted by another long time veteran of US soccer. In Dallas, US midfielder and World Cup veteran Brian Maisonneuve will rejoin Rongen and serve as assistant coach.
Last month Eric Wynalda was the assistant coach for the U20 team during the Copa Chivas tournament in Mexico. In previous cycles Rongen has used former players such as Tab Ramos, Marcelo Balboa and Hugo Perez.
Maisonneuve, 36, has been consistently involved with US youth national teams and this will be the third cycle he has worked with Rongen. While his situation is different than Wynalda who was the assistant coach for just the Copa Chivas, Maisonneuve will hope to use long time experience to teach the new group of younger players.
Rongen feels that these former players can help convey the significance of representing the United States at the international level.
"I think anytime a player that has represented our country in the highest level in World Cups walks into a locker room, the team setting and practice - you can just tell that proud young players think that's quite an inspiration," Rongen told YA of using former players as assistants. "It's nice to have players that are proud to represent the country, very proud in sharing their knowledge with younger players."
Rongen says that he will continue to bring in former players into various camps as the team builds towards the 2011 U20 World Cup in Colombia.
"Going forward, we'll continue to involve players that have played in the highest level and make a great contribution," Rongen concluded.