Troubled Mexico name fourth coach in six weeks
18 October 2013, 23:24
Mexico City - Mexico named their fourth coach in six weeks in a bid to save their dismal World Cup qualifying campaign, hiring Miguel Herrera on Friday ahead of a last-chance playoff against New Zealand.
The Club America boss replaced Victor Manuel Vucetich, who was sacked two days after the team lost 2-1 to Costa Rica, a defeat that nearly killed their hopes of going to Brazil next year.
"We are in a crisis situation," Mexican Football Federation president Justino Compean told a news conference.
"We are saddened for the fans, saddened for club owners, saddened for our sponsors," he said, adding that Herrera would be presented at another press conference on Sunday.
Herrera, 45, coached America to their 11th title this year, his first as manager. The club, who currently sit top of the league, said Herrera was joining the national team on loan for the two-legged playoff against New Zealand.
Mexico's new manager inherits a team that have under-achieved despite a handful of European-based talent such as Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez and Villareal playmaker Giovani dos Santos.
Mexico have not missed the World Cup since 1990 and there were high hopes after they won the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
But Mexico only won two of their 10 games in the final phase of the North and Central America and Caribbean zone, scoring just seven goals while watching the United States, Costa Rica and Honduras qualify for the World Cup.
Failing to go to Brazil could cost sponsors and broadcasters hundreds of millions of dollars, according to sports marketing experts.
Jose Manuel de la Torre was fired last month after the team's embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Honduras in Mexico City's Azteca stadium, only their second home loss ever in a World Cup qualifier.
The next man in charge was his assistant, Luis Fernando Tena, who was let go after one game, a 2-0 defeat to the United States.
Vucetich, who was hired on September 12, told ESPN.com that his sacking showed a "lack of respect."
He only had two games to turn things around, resulting in a 2-1 victory against Panama at home followed by the defeat in San Jose.
Mexico only managed to advance to next month's playoff against New Zealand after the United States beat Panama, allowing the Mexicans to secure fourth place in their group.
Mexico will host the first game on November 13 before heading to New Zealand for the second leg on November 20.
Compean said the federation would meet after the playoff to determine whether Herrera keeps the job. He will face his first test in a friendly against Finland in San Diego, California, on October 30.