Mexico manager search could be aided by merry-go-round in the Americas
With the World Cup in the rear-view mirror, it's all change in the Americas as a number of national teams look for a new manager.
Argentina, Costa Rica, United States, Mexico and Honduras have vacancies, while Colombia's top job might shortly be available. Even with Ricardo Gareca reportedly continuing with Peru and Oscar Tavarez likely to stay on with Uruguay, the situation is open, complex and potentially linked.
Costa Rica reportedly have 36 options and are set to take until October to name their replacement for Oscar Ramirez, while the United States have extended interim coach Dave Sarachan until the end of the year. Argentina have named Lionel Scaloni and Pablo Aimar as interim coaches for September friendlies vs. Guatemala and Colombia.
For Mexico, "more important than urgent" was general sporting director Guillermo Cantu's take on the vacant managerial position after Juan Carlos Osorio's departure. Even so, who might be contenders?
The stint and calamitous exit of his predecessor Miguel Herrera feels too fresh for him to come back, while bringing in an international name like Jurgen Klinsmann or Andre Villas-Boas appears unlikely.
Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti, currently at Tigres, has already discounted himselfafter he was approached to be considered as one of four candidates. Elsewhere among Liga MX bosses, there is little to get particularly excited about.
The popular front-runner is former Chivas coach Matias Almeyda, but the situation is not straightfoward. The Argentine has declared his interest in the position, but stated last week that he hadn't had any formal approach from Mexico or anywhere else, aside from Costa Rica.
But while press reports in Costa Rica have suggested Almeyda's family has been looking at houses and schools, the head of the Costa Rican federation's technical commission Erick Lonnis has not been impressed with Almeyda and his agent talking to the press about the job.
The lack of immediate interest from Mexico in a manager who would seem to check many of the boxes suggests that Almeyda, who has also expressed interest in the Argentina job, is not what El Tri's chiefs are looking for.
Osorio, Almeyda and former Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli all have the same dilemma, in that there are very few club positions open. As such, the best option for all appears to be a national team.
The key may well be Pekerman. If he leaves Colombia, it could open the door for Osorio to take over the country of his birth, while Pekerman would surely be of interest to Argentina -- perhaps in a sporting director role -- Mexico and perhaps even the United States.
If Pekerman stays on, Osorio could be attracted to the United States, while Sampaoli's chances of landing the Mexico job would increase. Costa Rica are unlikely, according to Lonnis, to have the funds to invest in a high-profile coach, meaning Los Ticos' options could be limited.
Of all the potential jobs, Mexico and the United States seem like the two federations that could shake things up with a left-field appointment. And with the next World Cup over four years away, it may not be easy to convince a bigger name from Europe, for example, to manage in a CONCACAF region that has a Gold Cup every two years, World Cup qualifying and, from 2019, the Nations League.
In summary, don't expect all this to sort itself out ahead of the upcoming FIFA friendlies.
Mexico are likely to take on Uruguay (Sept. 7) and the United States (Sept. 11) with an interim coach. Hans Westerhof has been mentioned, but there are also the likes of Raul Gutierrez and Luis Fernando Tena, who have previously worked for the federation.
As an aside, the real issue ahead of the September games may be persuading the Europe-based players, who featured at the World Cup, to cross the Atlantic for two games that have little at stake, in order to impress a coach who won't be in charge for long.
Two more games follow in both October and November, before a break until March. That is when preparation for next summer's Gold Cup (CONCACAF) and Cop America (CONMEBOL) will really begin.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.