Omid Namazi is leaving as head coach of the United States U-18 national team program a source tells Metro, the former MLS player is now heading to become the head coach of club team in Iran.
This will be Namazi’s last training camp with the U-18 program, a group that he has been in charge of since 2016. Prior to that, he also spent time with the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) as an assistant coach of the U-20 national team.
The 52-year formerly played with the MetroStars in the early days of MLS while also playing with the Staten Island Vipers as well as a host of local teams. Also included as part of his resume is extensive time spent playing indoor soccer as he played many years for the Philadelphia KiXX and the Cleveland Force among other teams.
The highly respected Namazi is considered a gifted communicator and a good teacher, a role that made him valuable with the U-18 program. As such, he served as a segue of sorts to help guide the U-17 players, traditionally a source of strength for the USSF and prepare them for the U-20 and U-23 level where the federation has struggled recently.
His prior experience as a head coach before the U-18 program includes the Chicago Red Stars, a women’s soccer team as well as the New Jersey Ironmen, an indoor team that played at the Prudential Center in Newark.
Namazi, whose parents emigrated to the United States from Iran, will take over an ambitious club in Iran named Zob Ahan. The organization has an extensive athletic club that also features women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball and futsal, a sport that has some similarities to the indoor soccer that Namazi starred in for many years.
A request by Metro to the USSF for comment about Namazi’s resignation was not immediately answered.