Mexico fires head soccer coach Jose Manuel de la Torre
Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre has been relieved of his duties as head coach of Mexico’s national soccer team, the Mexican Football Federation announced Saturday morning. De la Torre’s assistant Luis Fernando Tena will take over the team and will lead the team in their World Cup qualifier against the United States on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.
The pressure had been mounting on de la Torre for months after a string of disappointing results in World Cup Qualifying, but things came to a head in El Tri’s shock 2-1 loss to Honduras at the famed Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. The loss was Mexico’s first at home since 2001, and ended a 27-game unbeaten streak in World Cup qualifiers.
Mexico currently sits in fourth place in the six-team hexagonal tournament used to determine World Cup qualifying in the CONCACAF region. The top three finishers in the group qualify automatically for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while the fourth-place team must take on Oceania champion New Zealand in a home-and-home playoff for the final spot.