Toronto FC hires former U.S. U-20 coach

Toronto FC has hired former American under-20 coach Thomas Rongen as director of its soccer academy.

Thomas Rongen will serve as director of the team's soccer academy

Thomas Rungren, right, was the MLS coach of the year in 1996 and won the MLS Cup in 1999. (Ben Curtis/Associated Press)

Toronto FC has hired former American under-20 coach Thomas Rongen as director of its soccer academy.

Rongen, 55, has coached several Major League Soccer teams over his career and most recently served as coach of the American Samoa men's squad.

Head coach Aron Winter confirmed the hiring Friday on the Major League Soccer team's Twitter account.

Rongen was named MLS coach of the year in 1996 after helping Tampa Bay to a league-best 20-12 record. In 1999, Rongen guided D.C. United to victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy for his first MLS Cup title.

The move comes about a month after Stuart Neely's resignation from the position. Team operations director Earl Cochrane — a former academy director — ran the academy on an interim basis.