The U.S. Under-17 men’s national team has itself a new head coach, one who is familiar with the growing setup at U.S. Soccer.
U.S. Soccer announced Monday that Gonzalo Segares has moved up to the USMNT U-17 head coaching position, 21 months after being hired as head coach of the Under-15 Boys National Team. He becomes the second coaching hire by U.S. Soccer on Monday after Tracey Kevins was named the new head coach of the U.S. under-20 women’s national team.
“The U-17 age group represents a critical stage of development for our young prospects and we’re pleased to have Gonzalo lead the team,” USMNT General Manager Brian McBride said. “Since he joined us in January 2020, we’ve been impressed by his work with our USMNT program. He’s grown as a coach during this difficult pandemic period and he has what it takes to be a great leader for this important team, helping young players take the next step in their careers.”
Segares played professional for 10 years with the Chicago Fire before immediately beginning his coaching career. He helped lead the Fire Academy’s Under-18 squad to the 2015 Development Academy Championship as an assistant coach before spending four seasons with Chicago-area FC United as assistant academy director and head coach for the U-14 and U-16/17 squads. He holds a U.S. Soccer “A” Coaching License.
The former Costa Rica international helped the Ticos reach the 2009 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinals over the course of 19 caps earned with the national team. Segares made more than 250 career appearances with the Fire and won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title with the club in 2006. He also won the 2010 Cypriot Cup with Apollon Limassol in the Cypriot First Division during his lone season in Europe.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to take over the U-17 Men’s National Team,” said Segares. “It’s been an honor to be a part of U.S. Soccer, working with the best players in the country at their age group and learning from [USMNT head coach] Gregg [Berhalter] and his staff. Players on the U-17 MNT are at a critical point in their careers. I’m excited to help them reach new heights as we prepare them for international competition.”
The USMNT U-17’s will continue preparation for qualification into the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup, which was moved to Peru following the cancellation of the 2021 edition.