Chepo remains in charge

[MEXICO] The Mexican federation (FMF) is showing unprecedented patience with a national team coach, having announced on Monday that Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre will continue at the helm despite El Tri's dismal form of 2013, most recently falling twice to Panama at the Gold Cup.

"We don't justify the situation but there is still support for the present (coaching) administration," said FMF president Justino Compean. "There were voices who didn't agree ... I still believe (De la Torre's staff) is the best we have to take us to Brazil 2014.

"I asked (the board) for trust in the administration headed by Chepo, who has to recognize his mistakes."

Before before the Gold Cup debacle, Mexico was eliminated in the first round of the Confederations Cup and started the final round of World Cup qualifying with five ties and just one win. Three of the ties came at Azteca Stadium, where the Mexicans were once considered invincible. Last year, they lost to the USA for the first time at Azteca, 1-0, in a friendly.

De la Torre’s bosses are apparently hopeful that he’ll rejuvenate the team to the heights of his first year in charge. In 2011, he led Mexico to a 6-0-0 record in the semifinal round of qualifying and was 6-0-0 in the 2011 Gold Cup, where it beat the USA, 4-2, in the final.

The reprieve keeps De la Torre’s hopes alive of becoming just the second Mexico coach in the last 30 years to survive the entire qualifying campaign. Ricardo La Volpe did so in 2004-05, but Mexico then employed four national team coaches in 2008-09.

Mexico is in third-place of the Hexagonal and meets fourth-place Honduras in Mexico City on Sept. 6. It faces Ivory Coast in a friendly Aug. 14.

The top three Hexagonal finishers qualify for the 2014 World Cup and the fourth-place finisher faces New Zealand in a playoff.
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