Two years ago, Mexico beat Jamaica to win the Gold Cup and within 48 hours its coach, Miguel Herrera
, was fired following an incident with a Mexican reporter at Philadelphia's airport. On
Sunday, Mexico lost to Jamaica in the Gold Cup semifinals, and the drumbeat "Fuera, Osorio" grew.
Will Juan Carlo Osorio
, who replaced Herrera as head coach, survive yet another
early exit from a major tournament?
Osorio survived when Mexico lost to Chile, 7-0, at the 2016 Copa Centenario. The cries for his ouster grew after El Tri fell to Germany's "B" team,
4-1, in the 2017 Confederations Cup semifinals.
The only thing Osorio has in his defense after Mexico lost to Jamaica at the Rose Bowl, 1-0, was he was fielding a "B" team and when he
sought to recall key players from his "A" team for the group stage of the Gold Cup -- like Bruce Arena
did successfully for the USA -- he was rebuffed by Mexico's club owners who control the
Mexican federation president Decio de Maria
had given Osorio, who was born in Colombia and educated in the USA, where he began his coaching career, a vote of
confidence between the quarterfinal win over Honduras and semifinal loss.
"We're coming up to two years," de Maria told reporters, "and we are increasingly convinced that he is the coach
to lead this project and World Cup process."
That vote of confidence alone won't allow keep JCO in his job. Mexican owners are notorious for firing national team coaches. El Tri had four
coaches over six games at the end of its World Cup qualifying campaign: Chepo de la Torre
, Luis Fernando Tena
, Victor Manuel Vucetich
In Osorio's favor
is the history of the Gold Cup. Mexico has reached the final of the Gold Cup in five of the last eight editions -- and won four of them. The three times it failed it reach the final came in 2005, 2013
and 2017 following its participation in the Confederations Cup, which necessitated the selection of a "B" team.
In 2009, the USA went to the Confederations Cup, where it finished second
behind Brazil, and then took a "B" team to the Gold Cup. It went one step further than Mexico, advancing to the final, where it was wiped out by El Tri, 5-0.
Gold Cup failure a year out
from a World Cup doesn't matter. Only the specter of failing to qualify for the World Cup would change the equation. The four coaches Mexico had in 2013 reflected the panic within Mexican soccer over
the possibility that El Tri wouldn't advance to Brazil 2014. Lots of corporate money was on the line.
Mexico doesn't have to worry about qualifying for Russia 2018. Osorio has El Tri in
great shape with four wins and two ties after six games.