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Wilmer Cabrera Biography

Wilmer Cabrera

Head Coach: U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team
Born: September 15, 1967 in Cartagena, Colombia

Wilmer Cabrera was named head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team on Oct. 25, 2007, and will lead the team in preparations for the 2009 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria.

The former Colombian international is a veteran of two FIFA World Cups, being named to the roster in 1990 and playing in three matches in France in 1998, while missing out on the 1994 tournament with a knee injury. The defender earned a total of 48 caps over nine years with the national team. He also represented Colombia at two FIFA U-20 World Cups (1985 in the Soviet Union and 1987 in Chile), starting all three games for the team in the 1987 tournament after being selected to the 1985 roster at age 17.

Cabrera, who earned his USSF A Coaching License in 2005, has been a member of the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team staff since January of 2007, serving as an assistant coach under Bob Jenkins. He has been a part of a number of camps, including trips to Mexico, Portugal and Japan.

From 2005 to 2007, Cabrera coached at the U-17/18 level at the prestigious B/W Gottschee in Ridgewood, N.Y., one of 62 clubs chosen as an inaugural member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, since 2005.

Cabrera began his professional career at Santa Fe de Bogotá in Colombia in 1985 at age 17. He went on to play professionally for 18 years in Colombia, Argentina and Costa Rica, highlighted by eight years with Colombia’s America de Cali. He was also a founding member of Chico Futbol Club in the mid-1990s, serving as the team’s first coach and helping guide them to promotion to the first division after just two years.

In 2003, Cabrera moved to the United States and played for two years with the United Soccer League’s Long Island Rough Riders. He also worked in an administrative role at Major League Soccer, contributing to the growth of the sport through his position as Manager of Fan Development. In that position he served as the spokesperson for MLS Futbolito and Verano MLS, two programs aimed at grassroots development of soccer in the United States.

In his international career, Cabrera played against the United States in four official games, appearing as a sub on April 22, 1990, and July 31, 1992, both 1-0 victories for Colombia. He also started and played the full 90 minutes against the U.S. in a 0-0 draw on June 25, 1995, a memorable game that concluded the 1995 Nike U.S. Cup. He also went the distance in 4-1 win for Colombia at the 1995 Copa America that denied the U.S. a third-place finish.