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Vucetich out, Club América’s Herrera in as Mexico head coach

VictorManuelVucetichMexico2 (Imago7)


For the fourth time in five matches, there will be a new man in charge of the Mexico National Team.

After two games in charge, which included the thrilling 2-1 victory over Panama and a 2-1 defeat in Costa Rica, the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) have decided to part ways Victor Manuel Vucetich, according to a Vucetich himself in a strongly-worded interview with ESPN Deportes. The FMF is expected to make an official announcement on the matter on Friday.

(UPDATE: On Friday afternoon at a press conference in Mexico City, FMF President Justino Campeon confirmed that Vucetich had been replaced by Club America head coach Miguel Herrera on a short term basis, with the expectation that regardless of Mexico’s outcome in the World Cup qualifying playoffs against New Zealand, FMF will reassess the situation in December and potentially appoint yet another head coach.)

“It’s an experience,” Vucetich told ESPN Deportes. “It was positive, but not what I wanted. It ends this way. They were only six (training) sessions. I’m arrogant, I’m King Midas, not God. That’s why we as we are.”

“If you had told me I’m going (to coach) for two games of course I wouldn’t have (become coach). In the conditions under which the team is located is a very delicate situation, with a cracked foundation, no strength in many areas, but I think in that sense, a period of six working sessions it can not be fixed.”

The man being tipped around the Mexican press to replace Vucetich is Club America manager Miguel “Piojo” Herrera, who lead Las Aguillas to the Clausura title this past May and has America well on it’s way to an Apertura title this fall as well.

If Herrera is appointed, he’ll become the fourth manager of El Tri in the last 40 days and sixth since the 2010 World Cup. Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre was fired after the Aztecazo (embarrassment) at home against Honduras, while Luis Fernando Tena was replaced after El Tri’s 2-0 defeat to the U.S.

Vucetich was appointed Mexico head coach on September 12, but after two unimpressive results the FMF is ready for a change. According to Vucetich, FMF Sporting Director Hector Gonzalez Iñárritu was the one who delivered Vucetich the news of the sacking.

Mexico still has two games remaining before World Cup qualification can become official, a home-and-home series with New Zealand next month.


What did you think of these developments? Do you agree with firing Vucetich? Do you feel he should have been given more time? Do you see Herrera becoming the next coach? Do you see Mexico succeeding against New Zealand?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Mexico reminds me of England from about the late 90’s to about the mid 2000’s.

    Both had a “Golden generation” of players. For England it was guys like Owen, Gerrard, Beckham, Scholes, Terry, Ferdinand, Neville, Cole Campbell, Lampard, Rooney, etc., etc.

    Both had extreme expectations from the fans and media

    Both basically underachieved.

    In England’s case the best post mortem I read cited, as one big factor, the insane expectations producing player warping pressure that probably got the best of the players.

    More interesting and to the point, England never had a dominant player who ran the team on the field, who got them to play the way the manager wanted them to. This sometimes happens when everyone is a BIG star player especially in their own minds. They needed someone to tell Lampard to go forward, while telling Gerrard to stay back, that sort of thing.

    Consequently, England, as talented as they were only briefly gelled as a team.

    Mexico are slightly different in that they did have a good extended run back in 2011 highlighted by games like the 2011 Gold Cup final win over the US.

    But they seem to have regressed since then, held back by their expanded hat sizes and now they aren’t playing together at all or listening to their manager.

    The new manager probably needs to be a big boy pants kind of guy who will not be afraid to rattle some cages and bench or drop big names like Jozy, Bradley, Dempsey and Donovan.

    Someone like Big Phil Scolari of Brazil. Too bad for Mexico that he has a job he isn’t likely to leave anytime soon.

  2. I think they want bring someone from abroad again –perhaps a German! They have the players, just need a little more creativity and now that they are savoring the humble pie, they just may learn to play clean football without theatrics and hate.

  3. Mexico on paper are the deepest and most exciting team in Concacaf and reality hit them in the face. They have exciting players regardless of what any American fan thinks. You’d do anything to have a Gio the way he is playing at Villarreal and Vela for Sociedad on USMNT if they were Americans.

    But in reality, Mexico would not qualify from Africa’s CAF with their performance. This continues to prove that Concacaf is still a developing region. Say what you want, region is still underdeveloped in football.

    • I think the problem is Mexico is relying on players that are not currently in form. Chicharrito is not playing well, yet he is always called, same thing with Dos Santos. The tell tale sign is bringing Rafa Marquez the player that was involved in the two goals they gave up to CR.
      Mexico needs to go back to basic and play their domestic players that are in form. I who said Ochoa was any good? he looked terrible, he has no aerial defense, his puch clearance are like of a 13 y.o. kid.

  4. after the gold cup and confed cup meltdowns; back when Mexico was in 3rd place, they should have ousted Chepo for Herrera, Pena or Vucetich and allowed either one some time to right the ship.

    the situation they are in now is just absurd. at this point in the cycle you should be confident and consistent with your team..

    they have been in constant decline and panic mode all year, what were they waiting for!.. now they have given 3 and maybe 4 quality coaches poor attempts at the job, ones where they probably won’t want to return to.

    imagine if we had bad experiences and fired Bradley, Jurgen, Ramos, Porter and Kreis all in the same cycle!

    • This is the third panic move since they lost to Honduras 2-1 at Azteca. I’m not saying Vucetich was the answer, but at the very least, he helped the team pull out the win against Panama. If you are going to blame him for losing to CR, then he should be credited with beating Panama. If Panama managed a draw in that game, I think they would have gone through even with the meltdown against the US because they had the edge in the second tiebreaker goals scored.

  5. They’re already saying they may hire yet another person in December. If they lose the first leg at the Azteca (or draw while looking bad), what odds would you give that they hire a new coach for the second leg?

  6. People talk like the Mexico job isn’t a revolving door. They have had 11 coaches since roughly 2000. In that period we’ve had Arena, Bradley, and Klinsmann. Last cycle, it was Hugo, then Sven, then Aguirre. This cycle it was Meza, Flores, de la Torre, Tena, Vucetich, and now likely Herrera. 6 this cycle. 4 this year.

    In terms of necessity, Vucetich had one win and one loss and backed into the playoff. The win came off a miracle bike. If that bike doesn’t go in they finish 5th. So from the FMF perspective the team is arguably still not taking off. But I think that reflects a naive conception of coaching, short of some bit of scoutng and selection mastery where he uncovers new players or convinces Vela, the coach can only use practices to improve the team. Mexico by perseverance with Chepa wasted their lengthy summer soccer tournaments where the team could have been re-rigged by a new coach. Now it’s, dirty little secret Vucetich is hinting at, a couple practices before the game and bam another qualifier. Only so much you can do and the hint of their consistent performance is that the team is not dogging it but is just inherently mediocre.

    That being said, Mexico is the presumable favorite against NZ and the World Cup is a lot about the draw.

    • I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the team is inherently mediocre. As you stated, building a team takes time and the willingness of the general management to support a coach through a longer building process, through thick and thin. How many people on here were calling for Klinsmann’s scalp little over a year ago? Or even Bradley’s shortly after Arena was shown out the door? How many people criticized Bradley for calling up his own son and even used that as an example for why Arena should’ve been brought back?
      What Mexico fans realize and have spoken about for quite a while is that the Federation itself, and also the league’s structure, is broken. Yes, they are money makers. Both the league and the National team. Yes they position themselves to compete well regionally, but now that the other countries in the region are benefiting from their players having experience abroad (or even being fully formed abroad) that measuring stick no longer holds.
      Even Kilnsmann speaks openly about it (U.S. players should seek to play abroad) and has sought depth for the U.S. team by looking beyond MLS. Before he took on the coaching job all U.S. fans would talk about was the lack of depth in various positions. Now that he’s had a couple of years to look “internally” (read, in MLS) and abroad (Germany, Iceland), he’s added depth. Does the new found depth put MLS off the hook to address some of the challenges that the league has had in developing young talent? No, but it helps to also identify some things that are working. And it all has to do with the pieces working together (MLS and USMNT).
      As a Mexico fan it is frustrating to witness what has happened over the last year. But in no way do I believe that Mexico doesn’t have the talent or the wherewithal to do well… even at the next WC. I would read the comments from Vucetic as him reflecting on what has been a growth process that has been significantly interrupted. If you’re busy putting out fires you can’t take the time to focus on the slow and steady work of building resilience and depth. Add to that plain bad luck at the start of the hex and you get a s%$t storm that the mediocre management at the FMF couldn’t navigate. And by bad luck I mean blown calls, injuries, and concurrent slumps or lack of club playing time for key players.
      But the talent is there. As a Mexico fan I just look back to 2011. For a brief and wondrous moment, the Mexican team looked to at least have sufficient confidence in their abilities as a team to deal with true adversity. During the 2011 GC Final I was in a bar with 120 U.S. fans and 8 Mexico fans, yet it was the first time I didn’t feel anxious at all even while being 2-0 down (the dos a cero chant was in full force). So I don’t forget what this team is able to accomplish, they just need to sort out whatever it is that is happening internally. Because it isn’t a mediocre team. The way that it has been put together is mediocre.

  7. Does this bother anyone else? Michael Orozco Fiscal – “My parents are Mexican, I am Mexican,” he told Univision. “I ended up defending another jersey but I continue to be Mexican.”

    • Sometimes you have to be a little more delicate about your patriotism when business is involved. Orozco has a career in Mexico. Having Mexican heritage likely helped him get opportunities in Mexico. Playing for the USA is probably understandable and acceptable to his employers and the fans. However, slamming Mexico likely would cross the line. This is nothing more than PR– I’d argue smart PR from his career point of view. No doubt he would love to score another goal in Azteca against El Tri.

    • I can understand how, when taken out of context this could be interpreted to mean that he preferred Mexico and the US was his second choice. However, here’s what he said in another interview: “Ever since day one, my family has always been there. It really didn’t matter if I chose Mexico or the U.S. I obviously chose the U.S. for a lot of reasons, one being born in the U.S. and playing and growing up in the country. It’s been great so far and playing out here in the Mexican league is a job. You can try to fulfill your dream and that’s something I’m trying to do. My fans and teammates are all happy for me.” His parents, who are from Mexico, wore the USMNT jerseys in the stands at Azteca, when he scored there against Mexico. I wouldn’t start questioning his allegiance to the US.

    • I was born to Irish parents in London, England and felt the same way. My cousins in England, for the most part, consider themselves Irish. In a few generations their kids will most likely seem themselves as 100% English. So no……… doesn’t bother me at all.

    • Fiscal has scored a few big goals for the US. He has scored against Mexico.

      He’s not the greatest player around but there is no questioning his effort and his heart in part because his goals are all about hard work and persistence.

      He has said this stuff before. Question him if that is your thing but in my book it’s no big deal.

  8. Mexico’s problem is that they have become arrogant and complacent.
    1) You have Liga MX teams that want “only Mexicans” playing on the team
    2) You have an MLS team, Chivas, that want “only Mexicans” playing on the team. You need better players from every where to introduce new ideas and talents to make teams better
    3) It was obvious seven months ago that Chepo de la Torre needed to be replaced, but Mexico hesitated. They thought, “But we are Mexico; our opponents will just lie down and lose to us!”
    4) It was obvious after the Gold Cup that Chepo needed to be replaced immediately, but FMF took no action except to give Chepo their endorsement
    5) Mexico has players who demand to play or demand not to play for the national team and do not respect the head coach’s decisions
    6) There is a whole team that plays with little heart, desire, enthusiasm, or imperative.
    7) The Mexican players don’t have enough talent
    8) The Mexican defense is a disaster, but their offense is even less inspired

    • There is one other environment that needs to be addressed and that is the former insularity of Mexico. Up until a few years ago, Mexico was very insular in it’s players. Few went abroad, most players were content in staying in the Mexican League and living off the good salaries it offered.

      Things now have changed, . Many of the Mexican stars have left to play in Europe and a few even to SA and the US. Abroad, the players are exposed to different formations, training regimes, philosophies and tactics. For the growth of soccer in Mexico and in the long run, it’s good.

      But most of the Mexican coaches brought in are old school. When Mexico brought in Erikkson, it was a breath of fresh air, he came, however, under constant attack and second guessing among Club coaches and the Mexican Federation itself. Since then the Mexican MNT, (it’s Sr. team, not the Oly and youth teams) have been in a downward spiral.
      The accomplishments at the Youth levels, at the Olympics and WC, have only worsened the situation by giving the old school coaches and administrators and sense of going in the right direction. It has masked problems with the SR team that are now just manifesting itself.

    • If Mexico is so arrogant in soccer, why do they need Argentines to help their game?
      Chaco Gimenez, Damian Alvarez, Lucas Lobos, Caballero? The typical Mexican player is not athletic but slow and usually of poor technique.

      Once in a while you have a Chicharito who breaks the mold but then there is a guy who is a complete forward (Vela) but he doesn’t even play for them anymore.

      • Are you central american by any chance? Funniest part about your post is you said Mexicans have poor technique but then you go and mention Chicharito as the “once in a while” exception. lol Chicharito has probably the worst first touch in Mexico.

      • Also, they’re fast.

        Skinny, yes, as well as having poor mentality and not the best tactical understanding But their speed and balance is above average; speaking in general terms.

      • Chicharito is an exception in the athletic category. How many Mexican footballers are athletic other than him? If Chicharito has the worst first touch in Mexico, how did he score 20+ goals in England? Most of Chicha’s goals are from being in the right spot at the right time; he’s a pure finisher and to get 20+ goals a season, you have to have at the very least, good touch to strike on the first touch.

      • Do you remember Borguetti? LOL how did it go at Bolton? He’s slow and his touch was not good enough to play in the top division. In UK, most are fast, quick, and strong so you better be better than them in some category like technique and finishing, else you are not going to survive. Tell me what happen to Pablo Barrera at West Ham? He started pretty well and then what?

        If Meixcan footballers are fast, why aren’t they playing in EPL?

    • 1. Teams? what other team besides Chivas?
      2. Players that bring new ideas? Don’t you mean managers?
      3. Which was happening all through 2011 and 2012.
      4. Very true.
      5. So far that’s only 1 player (Vela) Ochoa never demanded to start around to their sporting director.
      6. How do you know this, how to measure playing with ‘heart’, this is as dumb as Mexicans saying the team plays without “huevos”
      7. How to you expalin dos Santos, Vela, Aquino, Moreano, Hernandez, Guardado, Ochoa doing well for their respective clubs?
      8. Yes, it was the first time Ayala and Marquez playing together, not surpised really.

  9. FMF is just a disaster! I would be very cautious before taking this job! On the plus side all you have to do is a two game series vs NZ and you are a hero but the management is the cause of a lot of this turmoil.

    So glad that USSF is run by people who care more about the program than politics and business interests..

  10. This was a mistake. How can they expect stability to occur by continuously firing the leader of the team? It will be interesting to see how the players respond…

  11. He was in charge for two games. One was an extremely important home victory against Panama. The other was away at Costa Rica, and Costa Rica are a more stable, frankly better team. Their performances in these last two games showed more energy, more fight. Mexico can’t fire their problems away.

  12. Just rewatched the highlights from Panama game. That first goal, yes, was the result of a bad pass by Castillo, but there’s no doubt Beckerman was flat-footed. THEN, he watched the Panama attack unfold and didn’t recover. His man was the one with the time to hit a nice one-touch finish into the side netting.

    • Yup. Sad, but I’ve really just think American soccer journalists are prejudiced

      • It’s like the difference between White collar crime and armed robbery.

        One gets you 5 years in prison even though you basically gambled away five billion dollars at your french bank.

        One is more dramatic and 10 years in jail.

        It’s all about perception.

      • Well you know what’s funny. The only journalist who can speak with all honesty about Mexican Americans is Tom Marshall because he watches the Mexican League. Why does everyone else continuously give Castillo and Orozco underwhelming grades on days when the stats show otherwise? There just now familiar with Mexicans and their style of play. “Roller Coaster” I think the unconventionality of it, bewilders them quite honestly

  13. And the first thing the new Mexico needs to do is pull a Klinsmann and tell Chicharito he hasn’t done ####. Chicharito needs to find somewhere he can play every day, not sit and watch.

    • You are absolutely right. Does Chicharito want the chance to advance in the World Cup or does he want the big paycheck from Manchester United and sit on his bottom on the sideline bench? He can’t have both.

      However, the more I see Chicharito play, the more I realize he is vastly overrated. As a sniper who can finish passes given to him, he is very good. However, Chicharito can’t create scoring opportunities by himself the way most strikers and forwards can at the World Cup level. If Mexico had three great midfielders who could consistently give him Chicharito passes, me might be an asset to the team. But as it is, Chicharito needs to be replaced by a striker who can create his own chances.

      • Agree, though when he was in Chivas he was allowed to be more creative. They would move him to the middle and he would come from the sides or the creative forward/midifielders would move in front of him so he would be coming from behind.. Manchester has only used him as a pure #9. Don’t know if he can do all those things at the international level but right now his growth is restricted to being a poacher and that is his only role now.

      • Chicharito is not able to create chances off the dribble, his greatness is his movement off the ball. He is extremely dangerous, but he must have service. He is like a super wondo, but he is never going to be dribbling through guys like messi that is not what the does.

    • The thing is Chicharito is a super-sub, like Solskjaer.

      That’s not an adjective, it’s his role. Always was under Ferguson to the point that it is most likely the role he was brought in to fulfill. It’s the best way to exploit his abilities, like a relief pitcher.

      If you start him every weekend, he’ll fail. And Mexico fails to understand that.

    • That is not a bad idea.He would certainly know how to beat the US.

      But if BB thought he could not get a shot in England because of the old boy’s club, why would Mexico be any different?

  14. Mexico wil qualify. El piojo is like a klinsman n loves young players n tough defense, n of course loves to kill by high scores. Basically the problem is that mexicos players have an attitude n DONT like to represent their country bcus they love more the country where they play, like spain and france or england.
    Like half of their team plays in europe n they sure do love more europe. But the funny thing is that, every world cup has a dark horse that comes from world cup qualifications playoff, and mexico could be that dark horse. Playing in south america, again after confederations cup and in nice warm brazil and in a similar culture….. Dont be surprise if mexico makes it to the semifinals, just like argentina,ecuador,colombia will feel just at home.

    • Comparing Klinsmann and Herrera? man they dont even belong in the same universe. Heck you cant even compare Herrera’s resume with Vucetich.

      Now with him Mexico will reach the semifinals? Youre like that maniac who keeps posting that Ghana is a powerhouse en route to win the WC, except sadder.

    • I agree with you.

      Remember – Germany qualified in their last game in 1989 and went on to win the WC. Brazil barely qualified in 2001 and went on to win. Argentina blew through qualification that year and did not get out of the group stages.

      Once they reach the tournament, anything can happen.

      • Three teams in world right now could have fielded a second national team that could have qualified for the World Cup if they were given the chance: 1) Brasil 2) Germany 3) Spain. These three teams have so much talent in the country that a second team could win games at the World Cup.

        Mexico is NOT one of these national teams. They don’t have enough talent for their first team. Let’s not compare Mexico with Spain, Brasil, or Germany.

    • This is typical Mexican nonsense: perform miserably, collapse and have your bitterest rival carry you on, then proceed to dis your next opponent, immediately assume you will qualify (despite every indication to the contrary), and top it all off with dreams of the the semis. This is called arrogance.

    • Out of 26 players, only 4 play in Europe and the other 4 weren’t called in (not counting Vela). While yes, countries that have little to no expectations coming in the World Cup go deep or win the tournament (Brazil in 2002 or Uruguay in 2010), Mexico is not one of those teams because they do not have that kind of talent. They also need a coach to instill pride in playing for the shirt and have players in form. Otherwise, their World Cup in 2014 will end up being like France in 2010.

  15. Bet they’ll oust the next manager after the playoff with New Zealand. But seriously, this is just sad to watch Mexico in a state like this.

  16. Yeah. I think FMF set it’s ecpectations too high, and perhaps should have kept Vucetich around for the next two games. It was always going to be hard to get a win in CR. The US couldn’t do it, and there is no reason to think that, even with a new coach, Mexico could get big results while still trying to pull back on the stick and get itself out of the nose dive it had been in all year.

    Chicharito is out of form and isn’t getting enough minutes. Mexico doesn’t have another scoring threat (that will accept a call) to play with Gio and Andres–who also wasn’t called in. Toreador is horrible, why even call him in? Hmm. Maybe he’s getting sacked for player choice?

  17. Bet they’ll oust next manager after the playoff with New Zealand. But seriously, this is just sad to watch Mexico in a state like this.

    • True…NZ pretty much only have to win a playoff to make the World Cup. They practically had 3 years to prepare for a two game playoff, Most ridiculous qualifying process for NZ.

    • Don’t overlook the Kiwis. I remember watching them against Italy and Paraguay from the last World Cup and was impressed how organized they were. Especially against Paraguay, they could have won the game if they had better attackers.

      I just looked up Wiki and noticed they got 3 points in their group so Mexico better take them seriously. Watch out for Marco Rojas; if you watch A-League then you know who he is.

  18. The problem is, they wait too long to change coaches.

    As soon as they went down 1-0, they should have had someone on the sidelines ready to step in and take over. Instead, they let the whole game play out to an obvious result before acting.

    C’mon, FMF! This is international WCQ, not some “peewees in the park” kickabout. You have to react to these negatives BEFORE they happen!

  19. He’s stupid for ever accepting the job really. Why talk about how you’d only have so many training sessions and how it’s impossible for it too work and then take the job knowing this? The only reason is because he’s an igotistical ass. “I’m king Midus”, stfu. Reality check, from top to bottom they all have egos this big in Mexican football and need to be brought down to their knees before they can build things up again

    • in case you didn’t know, “King Midas” is not a self-appointed nickname. people call him that because he’s got the golden touch in finals (think he’s lost 1 out of 12 times or something like that).

    • I think you read a bad translation or any literal translation actually won’t make sense. The gist of it is kind of “hey if I am being arrogant (they call me King Midas), I am king Midas not God. then something about ” this is the reason that things are as they are ” (meaning the quick hook). Kind of saying. What do they expect I just got the team two games ago. I think the quick hook had to do with what he didn’t do. He said/implied that he would be using groups of players in form. i.e. Defense from Leon or Midfied from Leon, players that are already playing together. Instead he played the same formation as De la Torre with different personnel. Then the same two forwards in front who don’t seem to work out together. As La volpe said. He is playing so that individuals can stand out and make a difference not as a team working together opening spaces for each other, etc…

      • Yeah too me it came off as acknowledging himself as King Midas, albeit not ironically, which is why I pounced on his ass. But if that’s not the case then just please excuse the previous comment

  20. Let’s be realistic here, Mexico should have no trouble with NZ. The Mexican press is building NZ to be some kind of Powerhouse. El Piojo is a cocky smug s.o.b. I never liked him as a player, and certainly don’t like him as a coach. I’ll give him credit, he’s smart. He’ll qualify Mexic into the WC and he’ll hailed as the savior of Mexican soccer, Just like Aguirre was hailed. Blah…. These guys don’t deserve to go to the WC.

    • El Piojo has practically no time to train with his players before the games. These players all have responsibilities with their club teams. Unless El Piojo knows three or four players who haven’t been called up to the Mexican team recently who can make a difference immediately, I don’t see him solving the problem. The problem right now is the attitude and the culture of football in Mexico. They don’t have the talent. They don’t have the fighting spirit.

      • He can use his own team as a core and add players as he needs them. That was what Aguirre (former coach) was saying he should do, Aguirre used the same tactic a few years back when they were doing badly. He primarily used Cruz Azul and his former team (monterrey?). When the world cup came closer he started adding/replacing players. Vucetich implied he would do the same but using Club America and Leon, or at least some of the owners implied that he would be doing the same, but of course he didn’t. He used the same lineup with different players.

  21. There is only one man capable of taking reigns of a National team in the midst of strife and chaos, in a country plagued by a corruption and senseless violence. Only one man intimately familiar with Mexico’s peaks and valleys as a squad over the past seven years… His name is Bob Bradley and he should be available real, really soon.

  22. El Piojo should recline this possible offer. The FMF has unrealistic expectations and incredibly absurd amounts of pressure. This team needs months to get fixed not 2 games


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