With Aguirre Out, Who's In?

Javier Aguirre stepped down as manager of the Mexican National team today. Mexico’s World Cup campaign came to an end last Sunday in Soccer City with a loss to Argentina. But the reality is after 4 coaches, a few hundred players, and a seemingly endless amount of meaningless friendlies, Mexico is no better and no worse than it was 4 years ago, or 8 years ago, or 12 years ago, or 16 years ago.

This World Cup was supposed to be different. Just like the last one, and the one before that, and the one before that….

Is anyone really expecting things to change? Femexfut has seen limited success on the field, but their profit margin has seen a healthy, steady increase. Which would the suits rather have? They make a lot of money, and that’s fine. They should. And as long as FMF continues to measure success by the bottom line and not the trophy case, they’ll make more.

And that pretty trophy case will collect nothing but dust and the occasional Gold Cup.

I have been reading a steady diet of editorials proudly proclaiming yet another failure for Mexico’s national team. The talking heads and scribes are all begging and pleading for change. They all know who really runs Femexfut, but are dead scared to even mention the name.

I guess that makes Televisa Voldemort.

Who gets the famous dedazo now? There are plenty of worthy candidates that are visible from my Ivory Tower here in Austin. Some will be considered, some should be considered.

Jose Manuel de la Torre. The current Toluca coach is the favorite. He has led both Chivas and Toluca to titles in his tenure as coach. The only experience he has at the national team level is as a player. He is always cordial with the press and can get a little hot-headed on the field.

Marcelo Bielsa. El Loco has national team experience with both Argentina and Chile and has coached in Mexico before. And as we all know, the most complicated mind on the planet is that of the Mexican soccer player. Only a select few have the intellectual capacity to crack the peccadillo code of the futbolista mexicano.

Victor Manuel Vucetich. The Monterrey chief has done well everywhere he has gone. His track record alone should merit him consideration, but for some reason he won’t even get a courtesy screening call. It’s a shame. He’s a good coach.

Carlos de los Cobos. He did well to get El Salvador in the hex and has coached Mexican teams before. But there is probably a reason why he has been coaching outside of Mexico. He is out of favor with someone somewhere. And when that happens in Mexico, balls turn black.

Manuel Pelligrini. The Chilean coach did the best he could at Real Madrid without any support from the big guy. He would be a very intriguing choice, but he has no national team experience or any time spent in Mexico. And as we all now, Mexican futbolistas are just so complicated, that outsiders just don’t have the appropriate decoding apparatus to figure them out.

Manuel Lapuente. He has coached Mexico before, both successfully and unsuccessfully. He just signed a contract with Club America, so if he coaches Mexico between now and 2014, then something has gone horribly wrong.

I have no idea who will get the nod, but I do know that if the final candidate is Mexican, he will publicly be given the keys to the castle for the next four years. But privately, his tryout will be for two years. He will be mandated to win a Gold Cup and an Olympic berth. Not because it would show progress. But because it would mean more revenue for that company that can’t be named. One failure might be excused. But two will be unforgivable.