Los Angeles Soccer: Tab Ramos

U.S. Soccer hires Porter, Ramos

October, 20, 2011

The United States has an Olympic soccer coach. An under-20 national team coach, too, and both are big names.

U.S. Soccer on Thursday announced that University of Akron head coach Caleb Porter, one of the finest minds in the American game, will serve as U-23 coach, taking the Americans through Olympic qualifying and, the hope is, to next year's London Games.

Former U.S. national team star Tab Ramos is the new U-20 coach.

The hires are among the most significant in the young Jurgen Klinsmann era, and they make a statement by bringing new blood into U.S. Soccer's top tier of coaches.

Porter, 36, a former Indiana University standout who played in four league games in three Major League Soccer seasons with San Jose and Tampa Bay, has built Akron into the nation's premier men's soccer program. The Zips are 100-15-12 mark in five-plus seasons under Porter, including a 10-2-2 record this year, and won the NCAA title last year after falling to underdog Virginia on penalty kicks in the 2009 final.

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GOLD CUP: 5 great L.A. games

June, 25, 2011

USA, MexicoAP Photo/Mark J. TerrillFrank Klopas of the U.S. leaps in front of Mexico's Ramon Ramirez during a 1994 friendly at the Rose Bowl.

The U.S. and Mexico haven't met in the L.A. area since a 2000 friendly at the Coliseum, and if you want to lay blame for that, target CONCACAF (just one Gold Cup final in L.A., until this one, and Mexico didn't make it) and U.S. Soccer (no desire to play in front of 85,000 or so El Tri fanaticos).

So Saturday's Gold Cup final at the Rose Bowl hearkens back to a tradition that went strong for a decade -- seven meetings here from 1991 through 2000, four of them friendlies) -- and dates to 1957, when Mexico drilled the Yanks, 7-2, in a World Cup qualifier in Long Beach.

In all, they've played a dozen times in L.A., Pasadena or Long Beach. Here are five of the best showdowns:

Nov. 6, 1960
United States 3, Mexico 3
Salvador “Chava” Reyes
, the great Mexican hero of the 1950s and '60s (later part of Chivas USA's academy administration), scored twice as El Tri took a 3-0 lead in the first 21 minutes of a World Cup qualifier first leg before 8,000 at old Wrigley Field. The U.S. rallied as Helmut Bicek, Carl Fister and Al Zerhusen scored goals, then fell, 3-0, a week later in the second leg in Mexico City.

July 5, 1991
United States 2, Mexico 0
The Americans' triumph in the first Gold Cup was fueled by a surprise victory in a Coliseum semifinal as John Doyle (now GM of the San Jose Earthquakes) and Peter Vermes (head coach of Sporting Kansas City) netted second-half goals in front of 41,103 fans. El Tri's lineup included Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre, now its coach.

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