Luis Fernando Tena could be one and done as Tri boss
MEXICO CITY -- Just three days into his tenure as Mexican national team coach, Luis Fernando Tena could also be close to facing the end of his abbreviated spell. Multiple reports have stated that barring a win against the United States this Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, El Tri could very well be on the lookout for a new permanent boss.
Following the firing of Jose Manuel de la Torre after a 2-1 loss to Honduras at the Estadio Azteca on Friday, Tena was presented in front of media in Mexico City late Saturday morning. Despite assertions from FMF president Justino Compean that "the process started by 'Chepo' would stay alive with Tena," several of Compean's bosses, the owners of the 18 Liga MX franchises, are not so convinced.
On Monday morning Azteca Deportes play-by-play man Antonio Rosique strongly hinted that former Morelia and Atlas boss Tomas Boy would be joining FMF brass in Columbus to talk about a potential contract to replace Tena. After Mexico failed at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, it was reported that Boy had been instated as the team's new manager; this of course came to be just a rumor, as De La Torre was ratified by the owners in July.
Boy, who has yet to win any silverware in his 25-year career as a club manager, is nonetheless considered a strong candidate due to his prior success in pressure-packed situations. His takeover of Atlas in late 2012 presented near-certain relegation at the time that he took the reins; six months later, Atlas was a playoff team and had long forgotten about the dangers of falling into the second division.
Hours after Boy was apparently put up for the job, a new report emerged with Club America boss Miguel Herrera at the center, as the current league champion would be considered to take the team over with just two World Cup qualifiers left.
Herrera, who achieved his first league title after 11 years of managerial experience with Atlante, Monterrey, Estudiantes and Veracruz, is currently atop the Liga MX despite his team having two games fewer than most of the other 17 teams in that field.
At the now infamous owners meeting last July where "Chepo" was ratified as national team manager, Herrera was touted as a top candidate, only to be rebuffed by team president Ricardo Pelaez, who wanted to keep his coach as long as possible. Following further negotiations, Herrera would be offered a guaranteed contract (much in the style of De la Torre's deal) until 2018.
Still others have speculated on the future of former Monterrey boss Victor Manuel Vucetich, who was offered the job in 2010 but turned it down, and former Chile, Argentina and Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa, who is one of the most sought-after tacticians in Latin America.
Only one outcome on Tuesday would slow down or even eliminate the alleged negotiations: a Mexico win. Sources have told ESPN that Tena would be very much in line to keep the managerial post should El Tri pull out a win over the United States on Tuesday, a feat that would be massive considering the difficulties for Mexico in the current Hexagonal group.
A win over the United States in Columbus would also mean the first WCQ triumph on American soil for Los Verdes against their bitter rivals since Sept. 10, 1972 -- exactly 41 years after their last win.