Former U-20 USMNT Goalkeeper Coach Des McAleenan Passes Away

Helped Lead the USA to Consecutive Quarterfinal Appearances at 2017 and 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cups; Coached Around the Globe During Storied Career

CHICAGO (Feb. 27, 2021) — Former U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team goalkeeper coach Des McAleenan passed away today in his hometown of Dublin, Ireland. He spent a number of years working with the U-18, U-19 and U-20 USMNTs, helping guide the USA to quarterfinal appearances at the 2017 and 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cups.


“Wherever he went, Des put a smile on everyone’s face,” said former U-20 USMNT head coach Tab Ramos. “He was an exceptionally gifted coach and teacher and brought such an amazing spirit each and every day. I was lucky to work with him as a colleague and even luckier to call him a friend.”


McAleenan most recently coached goalkeepers with the Colombia National Team and spent several years with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal. He launched his professional goalkeeper coaching career with the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer, logging almost 10 years with the organization. During his tenure he helped train U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeepers like Tim Howard, Tony Meola, Johnny Walker and Zach Wells.


Prior to joining the Red Bulls, McAleenan worked with the Connecticut Wolves in the former A-League and NCAA Division III Trinity College out of Hartford, Conn.


McAleenan played four years at Central Connecticut State University before playing professionally with the Wolves and the Albany Alley Cats. He also earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Sacred Heart University.


U.S. Soccer sends its condolences to McAleenan’s family, friends, and all those in the soccer community whose lives he impacted.

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