So long, Sven

Sven-Goran Eriksson

Mexico has dropped the axe on Swedish coach Sven-Goran Eriksson Thursday after another road loss, this time a 3-1 defeat at Honduras, in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying.

He took the reins in June 2008 and guided “El Tri” to a 6-6-1 record.

Mexico currently sits fourth in the race to qualify for South Africa 2010. If qualifying ended today, Mexico would battle Uruguay in a playoff for a spot in the world’s most prestigious soccer event.

What’s interesting is that Mexico’s governing soccer body, the FMF, doesn’t seem to be in a huge hurry to find Eriksson’s replacement, despite widespread rumors that former Atletico Madrid and Mexican national team boss Javier Aguirre will be the man to step into the job.

To me, Aguirre makes a lot of sense. He was born in Mexico City, earned 59 caps for the national team and has managerial experience both in Europe and with the national side, which he guided to the 2002 World Cup, where “El Tri” lost to the United States, 2-0, in the round of 16.

If Aguirre is the new boss, his road will be a little less bumpy going forward than it has been, as “El Tri” will visit El Salvador and host Trinidad and Tobago in early June. The two most difficult road trips for Mexico – at Honduras and at the U.S. – are over, so I don’t think Mexico is in any serious danger of not qualifying.

After all, home results are still what matter most, and Azteca is still a fortress.

Personally, as a supporter of the U.S. national team and CONCACAF as a region, I’m hoping Mexico pulls it together. The U.S. needs a strong Mexico as a rival, pushing both nations to improve on the world stage.


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