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Thomas Rongen out as Rowdies coach




A disappointing start to the NASL Fall Season has brought about major changes from the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

The Rowdies announced Friday that the club has parted ways with head coach Thomas Rongen and general manager Farrukh Quraishi. A statement from the club says the move comes after a “terribly disappointing start to the Fall Season,” as the club has lost five of eight matches.

Currently, the Rowdies have earned 26 points in the combined standings, sitting in fourth-place behind Minnesota United due to goal differential.

Stuart Campbell will assume coaching duties in Saturday’s matchup with Minnesota United.

“I wish both Farrukh and Thomas well, but it was clear the team was not performing at the level they should be and could be,” Rowdies principal owner Bill Edwards said in a statement. “My goal from day one has been to win the NASL Soccer Bowl Championship. That has not changed.

“When I identify a problem,” Edwards added, “I move swiftly and decisively to correct it. And I stand by my decisions. With the Rowdies, I felt it was important to make these changes now, while we still have time to improve our record for the Fall Season and secure a spot in the playoffs.”

The changes come in the aftermath of a 2-0 loss to Indy Eleven, a club that was previously on a five-game losing streak.

Rongen was hired as Rowdies head coach this past December and amassed a 5-1-4 record in the Spring to secure a second-place finish. Quraishi, a former Rowdies player, was hired just one month prior to Rongen’s appointment.

“It is important to note that I do believe we have great players, certainly capable of winning the championship,” Edwards said. “I will work with them and the remaining coaching staff to ensure they have what they need to succeed.

“Decisions like these are never easy, but I hope this move shows both the players and the fans that my commitment to creating a world-class professional soccer experience remains undaunted.”

What do you think of the Rowdies’ move? Who do you see as potential replacements?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. freddy just needs to put on his yellow hard hat and grab his lunch pail and show up to work every day for his new coach, no matter who he is. i hope freddy can do that. i’m still rooting for him to do that.

  2. I guess this confirms Rongen should have placed more concern his own job performance/security rather than providing ignorant commentary on someone else’s.

    When you’re fired by the Rowdies it’s time to call it a “career”. Go home Rongen, you’re drunk.

    • Yes, his first (and so far only) game was against Fort Lauderdale, when he came on as a sub and provided the assist for our only goal in a 3-1 loss. Shortly after that, he was injured in training, according to the team. Rongen said Adu was almost ready to return and I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him on the bench tomorrow night. After all this, who knows?

  3. Ouch…that Edwards guy is not messing around…I do believe that a coach should be given at least 2 full season to get the players he wants and to imprint his own style on a team. But, these days, it’s a results-based business…

    • Not at all. Rongen had a number of stints where he was successful and the team was productive. He’s been better as a youth coach than a professional, but even when coaching adults he has had some successes unlike Freddy who’s never been able to stake a claim for any of the clubs he’s been on other than the US U-20 team where Rongen was his coach.

      • Rongen has been successful in the past:

        – Named Coach of the Year during MLS’s inaugural season, leading the Tampa Bay Mutiny to the best regular-season record.

        – Coached DC United to MLS Cup victory in 1999.

        Despite his gaffes as U20 coach, his 2007 team made it to the quarterfinals of the U20 world cup, beating a Brazil team that featured Pato, Jo, Marcelo, David Luiz, Willian, and Luiz Adriano.

      • When he was coaching the Revs, we called him Wrongen. In the end, same end to the story.

        I do believe this will be trouble for Adu though. Rongen believed in him and could have maybe turned his career… Now we dont know what the coach thinks about Freddy

      • Yeah….Rongen has far more failures as a professional manager than successes. The 1999 DC United team was Bruce Arena’s team. He failed miserably at DC United after 1999. Was fired from the Revs and also was fired at Chivas USA. Wasn’t he the reason the US lost Subutic to Serbia?

      • Bruce Arena’s team, you say? I never understood why people use that excuse. How did Moyes do with Ferguson’s Man U? The coach still has to do his job, regardless of what team he inherits. A team doesn’t operate on autopilot.

      • Stop saying we lost Subutic to Serbia because of him. Subutic actually tried/considered playing for Germany as well. He used playing for the US youth national teams as a means to an end. If not making the U20 youth teams, causes you to switch allegiances then your heart was never in it.

        I have more than 1 country by eligibility. However, if I was cut by the youth coach at the U20 level, I would try to make the next level up to prove that dude wrong.

        Some America fans need to stop blaming Rongen, but instead need to look at Subutic.

      • “Wasn’t he the reason the US lost Subutic to Serbia?”

        He did not help but he wasn’t the reason.

        He did give Subotic a convenient excuse in the media’s eyes. Subotic’s order of preference was Germany, Serbia and the US a distant third.

        Rongen just gives lazy people a convenient scapegoat.

    • just in time for Rongen to return to American Somoa for qualifying games. That documentary made me cry. Not really, but great film

    • Exactly my thought. Kid/Man can’t catch a break. Unless it’s an injury-and that he has. But 8 games in and you get the axe? In the NASL? Is it effecting their attendance in any way? Their march sales? Silly…


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