FEMEXFUT has told skysports news (according to espn deportes – god I love hearsay) that SGE will be the Tri coach at least through the next two games: a friendly vs. Bolivia in Denver on March 11, and the next qualifier vs. Costa Rica. Regardless of the result, it is getting to be more apparent that SGE’s pink slip is not of matter of if, but a matter of when. If the Swede does indeed end up in the knodd, and let’s pretend that el Vasco says no, who on earth would take a thankless job that seems to be as rewarding as the president of a homeowner’s association, or a big soccer moderator?
Again, I am making the assumption that Aguirre will not be stepping in. And I am using the Scoville scale (used to determine the heat level of chiles) to rate each of the candidates I am putting forth. The hotter the chile, the better the candidate. My range is from blandest bell pepper, poblano, jalapeño, chile de arbol, all the way to the habanero. I also reserve the right to use the Merciless Pepper of Quetzalacatenago (the Guatemalan Insanity Pepper grown deep in the jungle primeval by inmates in an asylum) for an idea that is so ludicrous, that it should be mocked, not considered.
First up – Big Fil. Don’t laugh. He has flirted with Mexico before. He should have gotten the gig after 2002, but Mexico went with La Volpe. He took his name out of the running when Hugo Sanchez was given the boot. He is out of work, but another foreigner might not be in the cards after SGE. Mexico doesn’t need anther guy who has no idea what the players or league bring to the table. But his current work status is intriguing. We’ll rate that with a poblano. It’s really not as hot as you think, but it can surprise you.
Enrique Meza is next. He was the architect of the Tri’s last major crisis in 2002. He shouldn’t be overlooked, though. His Pachuca teams won an egregious amount of trophies under his command, and he might be able to redeem himself like Manuel Lapuente did in 1998 – 7 years after his disastrous tenure with the Tri. He gets a chile de arbol.
Daniel Guzman. He saved Santos from relegation, has taken them to the liguilla every year that he has been in the Comarca Lagunera and finally won a trophy last year. El Travieso can relate with divas and has his locker room under control. He may not have the tactical chops, but his teams do play with a very attractive style. He has said himself that he was not ready for the Tri last year, but that was before he lifted the trophy. He is an intriguing option. Jalapeño.
Jesus Ramirez. It’s his turn at Club America now. The former youth nats coach is the Mexican coach in history to win a FIFA world cup. He knows the young players, he knows the league, but his team was run off the field by Argentina in San Diego last May when he was the interim. He looks great in the box with his fancy suits, but he ain’t ready yet. Bell pepper.
Jorge Vergara wanted to bring a heavy after Hugo left. They got SGE. Are there any other heavies he might go after again? He has been conspicuously silent lately after being the most vocal critic of both La Volpe and Hugo. Which is more deafening? We’ll give him the Merciless Pepper of Queztalacatenango for not having the guts to support the guy he brought in.
That leaves us with the habanero. The sure fire guy who will come in and right the ship. Sadly, I can’t think of anyone other than Aguirre. He says he has learned from his mistakes, but he never felt more pressure in his life than coaching the national team. He says he didn’t like the politics of the FEMEXFUT, but he feels he has unfinished business with the Tri.
Of course, if SGE manages to keep winning, then all this is moot.