Toronto hires Thomas Rongen as coach

Updated: January 6, 2012, 1:19 PM ET
Associated Press

TORONTO -- Toronto FC has hired former U.S. Under-20 coach Thomas Rongen as director of its soccer academy.

The 55-year-old most recently served as coach of the American Samoa national team, which beat Tonga 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier in November to win its first international soccer match after 30 consecutive losses over 17 years.

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

Rongen was selected 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 came about a month after Stuart Neely's resignation from the position.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press