Mexico City, Mexico (4E Sports) – For the third time in a week, the Mexican national soccer team has changed manager, hiring Victor Manuel Vucetich two days after losing to the United States in a World Cup qualifying match.
“Yes, this is a hot potato but I hope it turns into something gold,” Vucetich told. “It is time to get down to work.”
Despite controversies and pressure surrounding the position, Vucetich said he accepted the position as challenge.
“The hierarchy of the players doesn’t matter to me,” Vucetich said. “What matters to me is Mexico, Mexico and Mexico.”
Mexico fired manager Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre after the team’s 2-1 home loss to Honduras in World Cup qualifying last Friday.
Luis Fernando Tena took the post on an interim basis but the team lost to the Americans, 2-0, leaving it on the brink of not qualifying for the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
Mexico is now in fifth place in the North and Central American and Caribbean group and the only hope of qualifying for the World Cup is to make it to the playoff against New Zealand.
Mexico will host Panama on Oct. 11, followed by a game at Costa Rica to finish qualifying on Oct. 15.
El Tri has qualified for five straight World Cups after missing it in 1990 when the team was banned from qualifying for using ineligible players in a junior tournament. The last time Mexico participated in qualifying and did not reach the World Cup was 1982.
Before Friday’s loss to Honduras, Mexico was unbeaten in 27 straight home qualifiers and in 18 straight qualifiers at Estadio Azteca. That was Mexico’s 2nd-ever home loss in 78 home qualifiers.
El Tri dropped to 21st place in this week’s FIFA rankings even as the United States climbed to the No. 13 spot.