Rongen in 2012
|Full name||Thomas Rongen|
|Date of birth||31 October 1956|
|Place of birth||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Playing position||Midfielder, Forward|
|1979–1980||Los Angeles Aztecs||40||(6)|
|1979–1980||Los Angeles Aztecs (indoor)||12||(3)|
|1981–1983||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||83||(4)|
|1984–1985||Minnesota Strikers (indoor)||18||(0)|
|1985||South Florida Sun|
|1985–1986||Chicago Sting (indoor)||14||(1)|
|1988–1993||Fort Lauderdale Strikers|
|1984–1988||Pope John Paul II High School|
|1987–1990||Nova Southeastern University (assistant)|
|1988||Fort Lauderdale Strikers (assistant)|
|1988||South Plantation High School|
|1989–1994||Fort Lauderdale Strikers|
|1991–1995||Nova Southeastern University|
|1996||Tampa Bay Mutiny|
|1997–1998||New England Revolution|
|2001–2005||United States U20|
|2006–2011||United States U20|
|2012–2014||Toronto FC (academy director)|
|2014–2015||Tampa Bay Rowdies|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Thomas Rongen (born 31 October 1956) is a Dutch-American football coach who has spent the majority of his playing and coaching career in the United States.In December 2016, he was named Chief Scout of the United States Men's National Team. Rongen won the MLS Coach of the Year award in MLS's inaugural season in 1996, leading the Tampa Bay Mutiny to the best regular-season record.
Dutch people or the Dutch are a Germanic ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Aruba, Suriname, Guyana, Curaçao, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United States. The Low Countries were situated around the border of France and the Holy Roman Empire, forming a part of their respective peripheries, and the various territories of which they consisted had become virtually autonomous by the 13th century. Under the Habsburgs, the Netherlands were organised into a single administrative unit, and in the 16th and 17th centuries the Northern Netherlands gained independence from Spain as the Dutch Republic. The high degree of urbanization characteristic of Dutch society was attained at a relatively early date. During the Republic the first series of large-scale Dutch migrations outside of Europe took place.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Rongen began his playing career with Amsterdamsche FC, with whom he played as defensive midfielder and defender from 1973 to 1979.
Amsterdamsche Football Club, known as AFC is a football club from Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is currently playing in the Tweede Divisie, the third tier of football in the Netherlands.
In 1979, Rongen moved to the United States, joining the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League.Rongen spent the entire 1979 season with the Aztecs. He then began the 1980 season in Los Angeles. On 12 July 1980, the Aztecs sold his contract to the Washington Diplomats. The team folded at the end of the season and Rongen moved to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers where he would remain for the next three seasons. In 1984, Joe Robbie, owner of the Strikers, moved the team to Minneapolis, Minnesota where it was renamed the Minnesota Strikers. Rongen moved with the team and spent the 1984 outdoor season there. The league collapsed at the end of the season.
The Los Angeles Aztecs were a soccer team that competed in the North American Soccer League from 1974 to 1981. The team was based in Los Angeles, California, and part-owned by Elton John.
The Washington Diplomats were an American soccer club based in Washington, D.C.. Throughout their existence, the club played their home games at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium and indoor home matches at the neighboring D.C. Armory. Founded as an expansion franchise in 1974, the Diplomats competed in the now-defunct North American Soccer League, then the top-tier soccer league of the American soccer pyramid.
Joseph Robbie was an American attorney, politician, and the principal founder of the Miami Dolphins.
The Strikers moved to the Major Indoor Soccer League for the 1984–1985 season. On 22 May 1985, Rongen joined the South Florida Sun of the United Soccer League.The league lasted six games, then collapsed. In October 1985, Rongen signed as a free agent with the Chicago Sting of MISL. At the end of the season, he moved to Florida to coach youth and high school soccer. In 1987, he played for the Houston Dynamos of the Lone Star Soccer Alliance. On 8 January 1988, he became the first player to sign with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the newly established American Soccer League. He continued to play for the Strikers until 1993.
The United Soccer League was a professional soccer league in the United States in the mid-1980s.
The Chicago Sting (1974–1988) was an American professional soccer team based in Chicago. The Sting played in the North American Soccer League from 1975 to 1984 and in the Major Indoor Soccer League in the 1982–83 season and again from 1984 to 1988. They were North American Champions in 1981 and 1984, one of only two NASL teams to win the championship twice.
Houston Dynamos was a U.S. soccer team that existed in various forms from 1983 to 1991. In 1991, the team’s owners changed the name to Houston International, but the team lasted only through the 1992 season before folding. The Dynamos were founded by Pete Kane and John M Gaughan. The Dynamos were founded with the intention of a continued building of the sport of soccer in Houston Texas. The Dynamos were the first team to give contracts to its players based on an entire year not on a season. The Houston Dynamos players year round went to parks, schools and events promoting the sport of soccer. In 1985 the Dynamos brought Pele to Houston creating great interest in the sport and spreading goodwill.
Rongen began his coaching career as an assistant with the Pope John Paul II High School boys' team in 1984. On 27 June 1986, he was named as head coach.During his tenure coaching PJPII, he took the team to a 32–6–5 record and he was a two time Sun-Sentinel Coach of the Year. He resigned from his position on 16 May 1988. He also coached with the Plantation Eagles Soccer Club. This led to his selection as coach of the Florida U-23 soccer team which defeated the United States men's national soccer team with goals from Zen Luzniak and Henry Gutierrez in a 8 March 1987 scrimmage. Rongen also served as an assistant with the Nova Southeastern University men's soccer team. In August 1988, he was hired to coach the South Plantation High School boys' team.
The United States men’s national soccer team (USMNT) is controlled by the United States Soccer Federation and competes in the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football. The team has appeared in ten FIFA World Cups, including the first in 1930, where they reached the semi-finals. The U.S. participated in the 1934 and 1950 World Cups, winning 1–0 against England in the latter. After 1950, the U.S. did not qualify for the World Cup until 1990. The U.S. hosted the 1994 World Cup, where they lost to Brazil in the round of sixteen. They qualified for five more consecutive World Cups after 1994, becoming one of the tournament's regular competitors and often advancing to the knockout stage. The U.S. reached the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup, where they lost to Germany. In the 2009 Confederations Cup, they eliminated top-ranked Spain in the semi-finals before losing to Brazil in the final, their only appearance in the final of a major intercontinental tournament. The team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, having been eliminated in continental qualifying, ending the streak of consecutive World Cups at seven. United States will co-host the 2026 FIFA World Cup along with Canada and Mexico. The automatic qualification of all three teams as co-hosts is likely.
Zenon "Zen" Luzniak is a U.S. soccer defender who spent three seasons in the American Professional Soccer League and two in the USISL. He also earned one cap with the U.S. national team.
Hendrig "Henry" Gutierrez is a retired American soccer player who began his career in the lower French divisions before finishing it in the United States. He was a member of the U.S. teams at the 1985 FIFA U-16 World Championship and the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship. He earned one cap with the United States men's national soccer team.
On 8 February 2004 he replaced Wim Suurbier as head coach of the Strikers.He took the Strikers to the 1989 ASL title and then skippered the team to a victory over the San Diego Nomads in the national championship game. He was the 1990 APSL Coach of the Year. In August 1994, he resigned as head coach. In November 1990, he replaced Hal Henderson as head coach of Nova Southeastern University. He coached the team for five seasons, compiling a 50–35–8 record.
Wilhelmus "Wim" Lourens Johannes Suurbier is a former Dutch football player and among others assistant coach of the Albanian national team.
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Rongen was one of the inaugural coaches in MLS, coaching the Tampa Bay Mutiny in their first season in 1996, with whom he won the MLS regular season, and also won MLS Coach of the Year Award. After a year with the Mutiny, Rongen moved to the New England Revolution, which he would coach in 1997 and 1998. After the Revolution, Rongen succeeded Bruce Arena as the head coach of D.C. United, which he would lead to an MLS Cup in 1999. However, Rongen lost his job with United in 2001, and was replaced with Ray Hudson.
Upon leaving United, Rongen was appointed head coach of the United States U-20 men's national soccer team, which he coached from 2001 to his appointment as head coach of Chivas USA for the team's inaugural season in 2005. However, ten games into the season, with the team's record standing at one win, one tie, and eight losses, he was let go of his head coaching duties.
Rongen was appointed head coach of the Under-20 United States men's national team again in 2006 and led the team to the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He was fired from that position in May 2011 after a series of major gaffes, the most striking being in 2007 when Rongen lost the U.S. national team a future star defender Neven Subotić, a Serbian-American who has since won the Bundesliga and reached the Champions League final, by publicly criticizing him and subsequently leaving Subotić off the U.S. U-20 World Cup roster.
In 2011, Rongen became the head coach of American Samoa. With Rongen at the helm, American Samoa registered its first ever victory on 22 November 2011, against Tonga, in the 2014 World Cup qualification. Under Rongen, American Samoa reached 173rd in the world, its highest ever ranking. His work with the American Samoa team is at the center of the 2014 British documentary, Next Goal Wins .
Rongen became director of TFC Academy prior to the 2012 season, joining countrymen Aron Winter and Bob de Klerk at Toronto FC.
He was named head coach of the Tampa Bay Rowdies in December 2014.Rongen was fired along with General Manager/President, Farrukh Quraishi on 21 August 2015.
In late 2016, Rongen was hired by Bruce Arena as the head international scout for the United States national team program.
Rongen married Gail Megaloudis in 1996. He is stepfather to Gail's children with Nicky Megaloudis, Nicole and Chris. In 2004, Nicole died in a single car accident on I-64 West in Goochland County, Virginia, aged 19. Rongen wore his stepdaughter's baseball cap during American Samoa's win over Tonga, as shown in Next Goal Wins.
The North American Soccer League (NASL) was the top-level major professional soccer league in the United States and Canada that operated from 1968 to 1984. It was the first soccer league to be successful on a national scale in the United States. The league final was called the Soccer Bowl from 1975 to 1983 and the Soccer Bowl Series in its final year, 1984. The league was headed by Commissioner Phil Woosnam from 1969 to 1983.
The Miami Fusion was a professional soccer team based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They played in Major League Soccer (MLS) for four seasons, from 1998 to 2001. Announced in 1997 as one of the league's first two expansion teams, their best season was 2001, when they won the Supporters' Shield with the best regular season finish. In 2002, after four years of lackluster ticket sales and revenues, MLS contracted the Fusion along with its other Florida-based team, the Tampa Bay Mutiny. The Fusion played their home games at Lockhart Stadium.
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The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were an American professional soccer team based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida founded in 2006, that last played in the North American Soccer League (NASL), the second tier of the American soccer pyramid in 2016. They mostly played their home games in Central Broward Stadium. The Strikers were named after the original Strikers, who played in the old North American Soccer League from 1977 to 1983.
Stephen Kinsey is an English former football forward who began his career in 1979 with Manchester City before moving to the United States in 1986. He then played professionally in the Major Indoor Soccer League, American Soccer League and others before retiring in 1997.
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The Fort Lauderdale Strikers were an American soccer team established in 1988 as part of the third American Soccer League. In 1990, it moved to the American Professional Soccer League where it spent five seasons before folding in 1994. The Strikers won the 1989 ASL championship, as well as the 1989 National Pro Soccer Championship.
The Tampa Bay Rowdies are an American professional soccer team based in St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S. The club was founded in 2008 and first took the pitch in 2010. Since 2017, the Rowdies have been members of the USL Championship in the second tier of the American soccer pyramid. They formerly played in the North American Soccer League (NASL) and USSF Division 2, which were also second-tier leagues. The Rowdies play their home games at Al Lang Stadium on St. Petersburg's downtown waterfront.
Farrukh Quraishi is a retired Iranian-born English footballer. He spent six seasons in the North American Soccer League playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Calgary Boomers. Since retiring from playing, he has held numerous executive positions in U.S. soccer teams and organizations. Quraishi won the 1974 Hermann Trophy. Most recently he was the President and General Manager of the modern Tampa Bay Rowdies.
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The Fort Lauderdale–Tampa Bay rivalry, also known as the Florida Derby, refers to the suspended soccer rivalry that most recently involved the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the Tampa Bay Rowdies, both of whom played in the North American Soccer League though the 2016 season. Over the years the rivalry has spanned more than one hundred matches across eight soccer leagues and several tournaments, and involved nine different teams from the two regions of Florida. At times it has involved players, coaches, management and fans. Even the press has fanned the rivalry's flames at times. From 2010 through 2014, the winner of the regular season series automatically won the Coastal Cup as well. The status of the rivalry beyond 2016 remains unclear because the Rowdies have since joined the United Soccer League, while the Strikers ongoing ownership and legal battles of 2016 and 2017 have left them defunct.
The 2015 season was the current Tampa Bay Rowdies sixth season of existence, and fifth playing in the North American Soccer League, the second tier of American soccer pyramid. Including the original Rowdies franchise and the Tampa Bay Mutiny, this was the 28th season of professional soccer in the Tampa Bay area.