Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com
It has been a bit of a whirlwind year for Richie Williams, but he has landed in a spot of extreme importance in the U.S. Soccer community.
Williams was named U.S. Under-17 national team coach on Tuesday, a position that also entails overseeing the federation's residency program in Bradenton, Fla. After being let go from his post as New York Red Bulls assistant coach prior to the 2011 MLS season, Williams was named the U-18 national team coach three months ago.
He held one training camp for the U-18s, doing so earlier this month in Florida. After being a finalist, but ultimately being passed over, for the Colorado Rapids head coaching job, Williams is now set to be in charge of the residency program, where he is tasked with molding the future generation of U.S. players.
Of the 31 players in this spring's residency class, six are part of the Red Bulls' academy, including Nike International Friendlies standout Wesley Wade. Playmaker and MLS target Junior Flores is also part of the class.
Williams replaces Wilmer Cabrera, who was let go from the position earlier this month after five years at the helm. Cabrera has been rumored to be joining Oscar Pareja's staff with the Colorado Rapids, according to reports out of Denver.
"Richie is an ideal candidate to guide the development of our young National Team players while also preparing the team during the next year to qualify for the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup," U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati said in a statement. "His experience as a player and coach at the highest levels will allow him to continue to provide a professional environment for the players in our U-17 Residency Program."
What do you make of the hire? Think Williams is a good candidate to help shape the up-and-coming U.S. talent?
Share your thoughts below.