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Ramos ends distinguished international career, will continue with MetroStars.

(Friday, November 17, 2000) -- Midfielder Tab Ramos, one of a core of players who helped elevate United States soccer to a position of respect in the world community, announced his retirement from the international game privately to teammates and coaches following Wednesday’s dramatic, critical 4-0 triumph over Barbados.

Tab Ramos
Tab Ramos, who appeared for the United States in three World Cups, will continue his Major League Soccer career with the MetroStars
Photo by Steve Smith\MLS
Managing the middle for the U.S. Wednesday, Ramos, 34, recorded his 81st international appearance of an illustrious career that spanned more than a decade and three World Cups (1990, ’94, ’98). Having registered an American record nine World Cup matches played, Ramos made his first appearance at age 15 for the U.S. under-20s and later played in the 1988 Summer Olympics.

“This is a very tough decision for me because it's been so much fun being part of the development of international soccer in this country," Ramos said. "Watching it grow, and being part of that growth, has been an emotional and important experience for me.But it's the right time for me to do this. I really want to be able to spend more time with my wife and my two young children and to concentrate on my club career. I'm glad I was able to finish playing with the national team while I was still healthy and able to contribute."

Ramos will continue to play for the MetroStars in Major League Soccer. "Tab Ramos is one of the best players to ever wear the United States jersey," MetroStars general manager Nick Sakiewicz said. "He has participated in some of our national team's most important games during the last 18 years, helping raise the respect and achievements of U.S. soccer to unprecedented levels. We are extremely proud to have Tab as a MetroStar and are particularly glad he will be totally focused on helping us win a championship next year."

Tab Ramos
Ramos played 90 minutes for the United States Wednesday, with the victory sending the Americans to the final six-nation round robin competition which will determine the three World Cup representatives from North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Recognized as one of the most talented midfielders ever produced by U.S., Ramos possessed a remarkable combination of speed, creativity and vision that enabled him to create and score goals with alarming ease.

"Tab was a one-of-a-kind professional who raised the level of play for everyone around him," U.S. coach Bruce Arena said. "His ability with the ball was remarkable and he was an important part of the growth of the game in recent years."

One of only three Americans to appear in each of the last three World Cups, Ramos might be best remembered for his goal against Costa Rica on September 7, 1997. That tally, a spectacular long-range effort in his first qualifying game after returning from knee surgery, helped secure American advancement to World Cup ‘98.

His ability to create goals was apparent almost every time he stepped onto the field, as evidenced by a two-assist performance against England in the 1993 U.S. Cup, and more importantly the pin-point accurate through ball he provided to Earnie Stewart to set up the game-winning goal against Colombia in the 1994 World Cup.

The gifted playmaker returned to the national team this year and appeared in three World Cup qualifying matches, scoring his eighth, and final, international goal against Barbados at Foxboro Stadium on August 16.

"I've known Tab since he was 14 years-old, and it has been a pleasure playing with him," former U.S. teammate John Harkes said. "He's probably one of the best one-on-one players to ever play the game and I wish him all the best."

Ramos rose to prominence out of St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, N.J. where he was twice named high school All-American and scored a remarkable 161 goals. A member of the 1988 Olympic Team, Ramos was named the United States Soccer Federation's “Athlete of the Year” in 1990 and was recognized by World Soccer magazine as one of the "Top 100 Players in the World" in 1991.

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