OTTAWA -- Former player and longtime coach Robert Gale was named head coach of the Canadian men's under-20 team on Monday.
"Rob brings a wealth of coaching experience, having worked both in Canada and overseas in player development," Canada Soccer technical director Tony Fonseca said in a release. "These past endeavours along with his commitment, enthusiasm and passion for the game make him ideal for this position.
"His coaching credentials are of the highest order and his ability can been seen in the players as well as the coaches he has mentored."
Gale, who previously served as technical director of Manitoba Soccer, joined Fulham FC as a teenager before turning professional with Wycombe Wanderers FC. He ended his pro playing career in 1998 and started to focus on coaching.
Gale went on to coach Canada's under-16 and under-18 teams. As an assistant, he helped guide the national U17 team to a silver medal at the 2011 CONCACAF U17 Championship.
"It's an honour to lead the men's U20 national team," said Gale. "I look forward to working with the players and developing the necessary plans to move forward. I am both humbled and proud to have this opportunity."
Gale will assume his new position Tuesday.
He will start work on preparing the squad for its first training camp in May. The team will then travel to Ireland in July to participate in the Dale Farm Milk Cup.
The U20 coaching position was last held by Nick Dasovic, who is now an assistant coach with the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer.