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Mexico hires Sven to replace Hugo


The Mexican national team has hired Sven Goran Eriksson as its new head coach, a hire that isn’t likely to go over well with some national team players, but one Mexican fans will surely accept once the Swede starts winning.

Count me among the masses who didn’t think this odd marriage would actually happen, but it’s here now and while English fans might disagree, Eriksson is a good manager. I would also argue that Mexico has one of the better collections of young talent in the world and the right manager could just help Mexico break its stretch of World Cup second round exits.

Do I think it will work? I don’t think Sven looks good in green, or a sombrero (only Bruce Arena can pull that off), but I do think Sven can integrate the young players with the veterans and get the team ready for 2010. Bob Bradley will have his work cut out for him in 2009 when the Hex comes around.

So what do you think of the hire? Is it doomed to fail? Will Sven be able to keep his hands off FMF secretaries? Will Hugo Sanchez emerge from a back room with a steel chair and Mexican flag and assault Sven for not being Mexican? Will a gringo lead Mexico to the 2010 World Cup title?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I am excited to quickly get on the mexican press’ bad side after we struggle to get out of the group of three stage of CONCACAF qualifying. Luckily they guaranteed me a lot of money!

  2. “Anyone who says they would rather have Bradley over Sven is fooling themselves. All Sven’s experience? Unless you think Bradley is some coaching prodigee …. but surely you don’t ….”

    Your right, but Sven woulda been a better fit for the US and Morinho a better fit for Mex….unless MEx Federation has hotter secretaries.

    He is Sweedish but his teeth sure turned English

  3. I think Sven will make Mexico a stronger opponent for the US. But I am not sure if it will work out because mexican players have already talked about their displeasure for not getting a coach who knows more about the mexican soccer style, etc.

    But as a US fan I definetly think it will be much tougher with Sven on the helm than Hugo.

  4. Anyone who says they would rather have Bradley over Sven is fooling themselves. All Sven’s experience? Unless you think Bradley is some coaching prodigee …. but surely you don’t ….

  5. Alot of people also thought Claudio ‘Sick Note’ Reyna was the greatest thing since sliced bread, the savior of the Red Bull,s defender of the faith, scourge of the … blah, blah, blah. Whatever. He has been a walking … I mean, limping … disaster, just like I predicted. Same will happen with Svennis.

  6. I think this is good move by Mexico. A lot of folks are bashing on Sven for his poor run of form with Man City at the end of the year. Historically, most coaches (once rumors start that they are going to be fired) have terrible runs until the rumors prove true, so I found the end of the Man City season unsurprising.

    Mexico needs someone who doesn’t know Mexican soccer, and who will simply choose players based on the merits of their play and not what the press and fans want to see on the field. I will never understand the “we should have a Mexican/English/ American coach for the Mexican/English/American national team” argument. You should simply find the best coach available for the price you want to pay.

  7. “Right Mex youngster will be better than Lampard, Becks, Gerard, and Rooney..”

    Uhhh….no…they just have to be better than Borgetti, Ramirez, Pineda and etc. As I recall, that group led them round of sixteen….they just have to be better than them and at least reach the quarters.

    Which is where England ended up after beating that world power Ecuador with a lone Beckham free kick and well…you know what happened in the quarters with Portugal.

  8. Does this mean that Mexico start naturalizing Swedes for their team too? how about some Brits?

    Right Mex youngster will be better than Lampard, Becks, Gerard, and Rooney..

    He did a great job incorporating Theo Wolcott when he brought him to the world cup and didnt give him minutes dispite their forward shortage and leaving Defoe at home.

  9. Beware the curse of the ice pick.

    Actually I do think he will start strong and fizzle–just seems to be his M.O.

  10. This is obviously a good thing for the Mexican program, I’m very excited because Sven is deffinitely a great manager and hopefully he’ll lead us to a good showing at the WC in 2010.

    For those who say he underachieved with England, well, I disagree and just look at Englands’ record in tournaments before Sven took over, he obviously did a good job with them.

    If I were a US fan I’d be more worried about coming to Mexico and getting a point, let alone a win which has never happened, it kind of contradicts this so called “domination” the lot of you seem to be so proud of.

    It seems the FMF is thinking ahead, knowing that Canada and Honduras are true contenders for a WC spot and want to make sure we don’t mess up along the way. Honestly though, I think Canada and Honduras have what it takes to beat Mexico and the US on any given day and would not be surprised if they knocked us out of the WC.


  11. Put me down in the column with those who believe this will be a good hire for Mexico. Sven is excellent organizationally, and will build a team that will not give up silly goals because they lost their shape. They might not become the most exciting team to watch, but if they win, all that will be forgotten.

  12. They played well at the beginning of the season. Whoop-dee-doo. Where were the when the season counted? Like at the end? Crappy end of 1-8 sound familiar?

  13. I’ve always thought the Mexican team has better players than the US team, only they weren’t capable of changing their style of play to be the US. With a foreign coach, that may not be the case.

    As for Mexicans complaining Sven isn’t Mexican? It can’t be any worse that the Brits compaining that he wasn’t English.

  14. Honestly, this worries me short term. He's a good coach that can still get teams to perform well. Just look at Man City's first half of the EPL season. They played extremely well, without any clear cut stars. And with the up and comers for Mexico, I wouldn't be surprised to see us lose a few in a row. However, a better Mexico is good for us long term. So, I guess I feel the same way about it that I feel about these friendly's we're having. Tough to watch, but hopefully good for us at the end of the day.

  15. honest question: can gringos be non-american, non english speakers?

    Posted by: anotherbodymurdered

    The answer is yes, in South America anyway. Not 100% sure about Mexico.

  16. I am a huge USMNT fan…but i don't understand how everyone seems to be saying we will drum El Tri worse now. Sven is still a good manager, and with the way the red white and blue has looked lately. i wouldn't be surprised if El Tri jumps back on top of us.

    Long story short…Stop being so cocky…we're still the US, and we still have LONG ways to go…

  17. Sven is Sven. He’ll start out hot, cool, and then crash.

    In July 2010, Mexico will have a new manager.

    I’d bet El Tri goes on a bit of a run in the beginnning, including beating the USA. However, he’ll blow Gold Cup 2009, and eventually crash out in the group stage of the World Cup Finals.

  18. I wish he were taking over the U.S.! Mexico’s either going to self destruct under the egotistical opposition of its players, or become a really well-organized powerhouse. We all know they have the talent, and this guy can make them play. I’d be worried, Gulati.

  19. Good news for Mexico and fans of El Tri. But even the Mighty Swede will not beat the good ol’ USA. We still own Mexico and will continue to own them.

  20. I think he will do well. It will be interesting to see how the US-MEX game change under his reign. As to the reported language problem, he has managed teams in Portugal and Italy and had considerable success in both places. Someone said he has not been successful recently and I guess you could argue that he could have been more successful for sure with both Man City and England. However, with Man City he had one year and considering that he did fairly well I think. @kpugs arguing that he had the best team on paper in the EPL is a bit of a joke. England has not won much of anything since 1966 and I think the problem with the team goes beyond the manager. Witness the DNQ in 74, 78, 94. He took them to 2 consecutive quarter finals, losing to Brazil (the eventual winners) in 2002 and to Portugal in 2006. I agree they underachieved but not as badly as they have historically and certainly not as badly as under McLaren. Let’s see how Capello does. Hopefully this will raise the level of play in Concacaf. I think the USMNT need a coach with international success to go to the next level. And even that may not be enough.

  21. Love the responses to the effect that “this is a good hire if Mexico wins.” Duh.

    I don’t think this is a good hire for Mexico. Some of the players have already said that they need someone who understands Mexican soccer, which is funny because many of Mexico’s best players are in Europe. But I don’t know that Sven is a master psychologist, which is what El Tri really needs. No one doubts their talent; they just can’t come together as a team when it matters.

    In the long run, this is good for the U. S. On the other hand, the nats seems to be on a downward trajectory at the moment.

  22. I think it is a great move for Mexico I think they will be a lot better now than they were with Hugo. I just hope we are able to continue to beat them when playing each other and maybe learn how to consistently make it to the second round of every world cup.

  23. I just love the headline and the photo.

    Should be interesting to watch the fans and the media in Mexico during his reign.

    I think the Mexican Federation may have realized that any hire was not going to make the masses in Mexico happy so they decided to try something a little different.

  24. sven is a top class manager and im surprised he chose mexico, as its kind of a step down after roma, england, man city… its a shame that when bruce was fired no real top class coaches were availible for hire like mexico had (Mourinho, Sven etc).

    although it pains me to say it, i’m positive that the elusive win against usa will come under sven’s reign. mexicans should be fortunate to have sven and have no reason to be disgruntled whatsoever.

  25. John, when was the last time Sven was actually a successful manager? Before he signed for England surely. I’d rather have Bradley than Sven based on recent years. He had arguably the best team on Earth on paper (arguably is the key there, I know) and couldn’t do jack squat with them. And we are no England.

  26. any mexican player or fans who arent happy about this- im sure one win against the u.s. would change their tune.

    heck, the way things have been the last dozen years if they could manage even a draw outside of mexico sven would have a lifetime contract waiting in the locker room.

  27. This is trouble for the Nats. Why couldn’t we get a real manager? B Bradley should be running practices as the second in charge, at the most. Not meant as an insult, but we needed to go continental and we didn’t.

  28. Hope Sven takes charge for the game on Sunday when we whip their butts 3-1 in Chicago!

    Peru’s been in town since Sunday. No press–not even a tidbit for them.:(

    Ives, maybe Solano will rethink his decision to come to MLS after training at Toyota Park and taking in the Chicago scenes (wishful thinking).


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