By DAN KARELL
For the second time in less than one week, the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) has a new man in charge of the Mexico National Team.
FMF President Justino Compean officially introduced veteran manager Victor Manuel Vucetich as the newest head coach of El Tri on Thursday afternoon, replacing Luis Fernando Tena who lasted all of one game, the 2-0 defeat to the USA in Columbus.
“Today, Victor Manuel Vucetich accepted the challenge and knows what’s coming,” Campeon said in the introductory press conference. “We are confident that (Vucetich) has the experience to go forward. Mexico will be in Brazil 2014.”
Vucetich was most recently with Monterrey, where he had been since the start of 2009 through August, before being fired due to poor early-season results. Prior to Monterrey, the 58-year-old managed at nine other clubs, including Puebla, Cruz Azul, and Tigres UANL after beginning his head coaching career in 1996.
The five-time Mexican league champion nearly became the head coach of El Tri in 2010 after the World Cup, but he declined it at the time due to family reasons. Vucetich now takes over a side that are sitting in 5th place with just eight points in CONCACAF’s Hexagonal round of qualifying, with two matches remaining next month: home against Panama, and away to Costa Rica.
“It’s the biggest challenge of my career, without a doubt,” Vucetich said at the press conference. ”
From 2011 through the early hours of last Saturday morning, Mexico was lead by Jose Manuel de la Torre, who guided the team to a Gold Cup title in his first year in charge but has overseen the national team grow progressively worse, even as the youth teams have improved. The final straw for “Chepo” was the 2-1 defeat to Honduras last Friday at Estadio Azteca.
Vucetich, who stated that his contract with the FMF is currently only through the two October matches, will convene a domestically-based 23-man squad for three days later this month to assess his players, and he’ll be using two of his former assistant coaches at Monterrey as well as some of the Mexico Youth National Team staff to help assist him in the process.
What do you think of this news? Do you feel that Vucetich was the right appointment? Do you see Mexico playing better under Vucetich? Do you see Carlos Vela and “Memo” Ochoa returning to the squad?
Share your thoughts below.