Hugo Sanchez fired as Mexico coach


Hugo Sanchez has been fired as head coach of the Mexican national team.

The greatest player in Mexican soccer history lasted barely more than a year before three failed attempts to beat the United States and a disastrous Olympic Qualifying campaign did him in before he even had a chance to coach a World Cup qualifier.

The move seemed inevitable after Mexico’s shock failure to qualify for the Olympics with its best generation of young players ever.

How will Sanchez be remembered? He will be remembered for whining about referees and complaining about terrible field conditions. Most importantly, he will be remembered for being the subject of several You Write the Captions for photos like the one shown. In that regard, Sanchez will certainly be missed.

All joking aside, I think Sanchez saw it coming. His demeanor before the last U.S.-Mexico game was very telling. Gone was the bravado from earlier in his tenure. He tried his best to temper expectations but after making things so difficult for his predecessor, Ricardo LaVolpe, Sanchez was never going to be given a long leash.

If the Mexican federation is smart, it will turn to someone like Jose Pekerman, who would be ideally suited to work with the young generation of stars currently rising through the Mexico ranks. Whoever the coach is, they will probably be given a longer leash than  Sanchez by a federation that will be desperate for some stability.

What do you think of the news? Shocked? Happy? Sad? Laughing at Mexico’s national team? Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to Hugo Sanchez fired as Mexico coach

  1. Edward says:

    Sanchez to LA!

  2. Mark says:

    I’m chuckling…

    Especially gratifying to see that blowhard fail and know that not being able to defeat the US had something to do with his dismissal.

    Good news for the new coach is that expectations are probably low right now after his tenure, so even marginal improvement will likely be seen as a positive for the next year or so.

  3. TK says:

    I think this news sucks to be honest.

    This guy had a great repoire with the young players and did a good job at the U20’s also.

    I wanted the moron in charge. It helped us. Damn.

  4. Carl Setterlund says:

    The feeling has to be a little bit sullen today. Hopefully, the US will have it just as easy against the next Mexico squad haha

  5. eric says:

    I want Mexico to be good, the US needs at least one real rival to continue to progress.

    Mexico needs to hire someone who’s going to deal with reality and cuts out the whining and excuses.

  6. furia yanqui says:

    Correction: Three failed attempts to beat the US. The 2-1 loss in Arizona last year. The 2-1 loss in the Gold Cup final in Chicago. And the 2-2 draw in Houston.

    Whoever replaces him, I hope he is similarly deluded into thinking that the team with great possession is declared the winner at the end of the game, regarless of the scoreboard 😉

    Seriously, I hope it’s someone who overestimates his team and underestimates us.

  7. Frank says:

    I doubt not beating the US had much to do with his firing. It was the Olympic Qualifying disaster and his stupid excuses that did him in. I think this is a good day in Mexican soccer. I think Pekerman would be a great choice. He took Argentina to the 2006 WC and he is already coaching in Mexico so he is available. I have heard the name of Rijkaard being thrown around but I seriously doubt he would be interested. We should see an improvement with Jesus Ramirez as the interem. He coached the U17 champs. I disagree with you Ives on the leash. There are very high demand and expectations right now in Mexico because this is the most talent they have ever had as a group and results are expected now.

  8. Frank says:

    Also people here need to temper there excitement of this news. Mexico has more talent than the US and if they find a good foreign coach that knows how to harness and use that talent it will be sad days ahead for the US in the future.

  9. obie says:

    Frank: we’ve seen no hard evidence of your claim that Mexico has “more talent” than the US in about a decade.

    Maybe Sanchez was a lousy coach, or maybe Mexico is a glorified Costa Rica. We’ll find out over time.

  10. CACuzcatlan says:

    Every team in CONCACAF is crying right now. With a decent coach Mexico has the potential to be a world power given their current crop of players.

  11. Tim Archer says:

    I am dancing in the streets with this one…he was a pompous a$$hole and I couldn’t ask for a more fitting end for him.

  12. Seisco says:

    Hopefully the new coach DOESN’T make use of the many young weapons Mexico is developing. We want them to give us a challenge, just not beat us.

  13. Brant says:

    “What do you think of the news? Shocked? Happy? Sad? Laughing at Mexico’s national team? Share your thoughts below.”

    Shocked? Yep – thought he’d last another 2-3 defeats.

    Happy? Yep – he was a blowhard who undermined his predecessor and deserved to fall on his face for pointing out Lavolpe’s failings.

    Sad? Yep – With him in charge, they were due to get passed in CONCACAF by Honduras, Costa Rica, and/or Canada.

    Laughing at Mexico’s National Team? – Yep. Perpetually.

    What kills me is the arrogant attitude of so many of the fans. They clearly think that all us ‘gringos’ know nothing at all about futbol and that they can just wake up and roll out of bed and dominate us, whether at national team level, club level, or local playground pickup level. Never mind that some of us ‘gringos’ have been playing since 1976 and would rather watch European pro soccer than just about any US sport. Those people annoy me, and I enjoy watching the fall of their pride and joy.

  14. A.S. says:

    Well, is it bad for the USMNT? Sure, it might mean a bit harder time qualifying for 2010 if Mexico were better. And we might have a harder time winning CONCACAF competitions like the Gold Cup. But, frankly, I’d rather have Mexico as a really good team to elevate our competition level over then next couple of years – after all, we should only improve to the extent we play meaningful games against top level competition.

  15. aristotle says:

    He finished as he started. Arrogant and clueless.

    He should never have been hired. His constant harassment of the previous coach and his campaigning for the job while the previous coach was trying to do his job should have been an omen as to what you would get with this guy as a coach.

  16. David Berger says:


  17. strago says:

    Next US/Mexico “friendly” is when????


  18. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Heard this on the local (Los Angeles)spanish radio station on the way home from work. I’m a bit surprised. I’d agree with Brant, thought the leash was longer.

    But he was pompous and arrogant as has all of the Mexican players (other than Pardo and Salcido who showed class) prior to their last game with the U.S.

    However, I think Guatemala gets the token ring for Hugos firing. They beat Mexico twice once the full mens team and once with the U-23, knocking them out of the Olympics. So congrats to the Chapines for Hugos firing.

  19. MiamiAl says:

    I think its great!! This is a huge blow to Mexican soccer. To fire a legend just before qualifying begins really shows that he fouled up pretty damm good. But I don’t want to gloat too much, because a coaching change for the U.S. is quite possible down the road for us as well if the desired results are not achieved. As far as Mexico is concerned, why not give the reigns to Jorge Campos ???

  20. NYRB says:

    Alexi Lalas next

  21. CACuzcatlan says:

    NYRB, as a Galaxy fan I pray that you are correct.

  22. jpc says:

    Mexico is just like England, a bunch of overreacting fans and journalists who demand nothing less then being the best team in the world. Like England they are a good team, but a second tier team (first tier being France, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy)… This makes me happy, because the last US Mexico game was the first since before the 02 world cup where Mexico was clearly the better team (obviously excluding games in Mexico city)… I hope they hire another bitter, US hating coach, b/c that will ensure that they never beat us

  23. Dominghosa says:

    I am just a bit surprised but after losses to the U.S. and Guatemala, why would you want him in charge during WC qualifying? So he can continue the trend of disappointing results?

    Good move by the Mexican federation. It’s too bad for the U.S. because Mexico was never going to beat the USMNT with Hugo in charge.

    Yes, the USMNT is probably slightly more talented right now. But with the right coach and the right mentality, Mexico has all the talent it needs to do some damage internationally.

  24. Hincha Tim says:

    I heard Bruce Arena is going to be the new Mexico coach.

  25. Hincha Tim says:

    (with John O’Brien as his assistant)

  26. PZ says:

    I hear Steve Sampson is available and is qualified to take the helm. 😉

  27. Freddy says:

    On behalf of all USA fans:




  28. JB says:

    “Also people here need to temper there excitement of this news. Mexico has more talent than the US and if they find a good foreign coach that knows how to harness and use that talent it will be sad days ahead for the US in the future.”

    Sorry Frank, Mexico does not have more talent. They do have some talented players, and their talent has more flair than ours since it is mostly attacking talent, but as Sanchez deluded himself into thinking simply having players that look good on the field doesn’t win you games. U.S. talent is built around players that will grind out dour 1-0 wins ad nauseum. It might be ugly, it might be boring, but its our style and we have some very talented players for it.

  29. Sandro says:

    Wow the press was after his head after the results in the Olympics. I guess this guy brought onto himself by calling out Lavolpe (Ex-Mexican Coach). Wonder where Lavolpe is and how hard he must be laughing. Would be good to see more competition in CONCACAF.

    GO USMNT!!!!!!!

  30. Sandro says:

    Ives any idea who will be the next coach for Mexico? is going to be another Mexican coach or are they looking externally.

  31. Freddy says:

    All USA fans should be dancing in the streets right now! It cannot be questioned or debated any longer: The brave and virtuous souls of the United States of America are the unquestioned Kings of CONCACAF and Mexico needs to bow down!

  32. PZ says:

    I hear Steve Sampson speaks Spanish, has international coaching experience and is looking for work.

  33. Christian says:

    hmm where to begin…

    OK, I’ll start by stating that both losses to Guatemala were with our U-23s. The first game back in October featured most of the Olympic team against the full Guats team, both Vela and VIllaluz scored during the first half and Hugo made wholesale changesin the second half, not to mention that Guatemala came in really motivated and Marvin Avila had a great night scoring two goals. Check the stats and do some homework before you come here and try to rag on my national team.

    Next is the myth that all Mexican players are arrogant and pompous, well there’s obviously some truth in that statement but Pardo, Salcido, Osorio, Lozano, Pineda, Conejo Perez and countless others have spoken very highly of the rise of American soccer and that includes Rafa Marquez in a recent interview with ESPNDeportes, but I wouldn’t really expect you guys to go out of your way and do some actual research instead of going by what a few Sam’s Army fatheads say about Mexico. If I remember correctly all the games between US and Mexico over the past 15-18 years have been heated affairs with aggressions going both ways although Rafa sniping Cobi in ’02 will always be engrained in my head as the lowest moment for a Mexican national team player.

    As for Hugo, well he was a fool and ran his mouth way too much, his tactics were piss poor and he totally underestimated ALL opponents unless they were Brazil/Argentina/France/Italy etc. Chucho Ramirez isn’t much of an improvement to be honest, the U-17 team that won the WC did it based on a good team effort with flawless attackers and excellent midfield play, not to mention a really solid defense. Realistically speaking though, they were 16 year old kids and by the time the U-20 WC came around it seemed like he was still trying to implement the same gameplan, long balls to Vela and Gio and hope they outrun their markers and get a shot on goal.

    I’m under the impression that we will be getting a Dutch coach but I still believe Pekerman is the best option available right now. There are going to be major changes in Mexican soccer soon, such as the league going back to a long season format instead of two seasonal tournaments (Apertura/Clausura) and the limit on foreign players to 3 or 4 max per team.

    OK, well, I’m done….carry on. Gloat away.

  34. Christian says:

    I just want to add real quick that I think Bob Bradley is actually a really decent coach for you guys, watching those US Soccer behind the scenes videos and seeing how he motivates the team and keeps them grounded…I mean, it’s hard not to go out there and give a 110% effort when you have a guy like him supporting you and cheering you on. I wasn’t that high on him when he was with Metro but he always seemed like a good guy that could get the best out of his players. I’m glad he was given a chance with the US nats and I think you guys will reap the rewards of all the mental and motivational work he’s been doing with your boys.

  35. Felix says:

    Well they fired him at the right time, before WC qualifying started. Now they just need to hire a coach who is going to bring out the best in their talent because they are a good team.

  36. Keith G. says:

    Where does he go now, will he get a coaching job at a club some where?

  37. Bob says:

    H. Tim — that is great!

    This is a setback for Mexico, one that I hope the USMNT can use to its advantage. I can only hope for an equally incompetent person to take the job.

    Steve McClaren, anyone?

  38. Sos un amargo Sanchez, un amargo!! Adios Pecho Frio.

    USA! USA!

  39. mike ruze says:

    Its not Hugos fault that the so called “Golden generation” was overrated. Giovanni is proving to be a glorified Justin Mapp and the only reason Mex won at the U-20 WC was because it was the only team with any talent that could play in that altitude.

  40. Steve says:

    Yeah Hugo was crap but being that I like beating Mexico I didn’t want him fired, they could benefit greatly from this, but that said the US needs to continue to enhance their expectations and be confident against strong opposition, a stronger Mexico will add to that. Obviously we are headed down that path with the strong friendly schedule we have coming up

  41. pete says:

    He deserves what he gets. This is so symbolic of Mexican soccer. They talk a huge game and then fail miserably every time. Mexican Soccer is a joke

  42. josh says:

    Christian, I have to say that it was refreshing reading your comments. I have always respected Mexico and valued the rivalry. Most of my Mexican friends feels the same way towards us. However, without knucklehead fans fanning the flames of hostility between the teams, it wouldn’t have the same spark. So the “Sam’s Army fatheads” while clearly clueless, play an important part in making the rivalry what it is. The truth is, Mexico makes us a better team, and many of us secretly love ’em for it. But most won’t admit it! :)

  43. Alejandro Ruiz says:

    It’s ok not not like Mexican soccer but don’t call it a joke. At least wait until MLS has turned a profit and stop playing on fields with football lines.

    I have no problems saying that the teams are about equal (slight edge to Mexico because they’ve been more consistent over the years in tournaments), even though their respective playing styles are completely different.

    They’re both teams that are on the verge of being better than they’ve ever have before.

    They’re spurring each other on, which is great for both teams.

  44. Joamiq says:

    I am BEAMING.

  45. Joamiq says:

    To the Mexico fans: I appreciate most of your comments here. You’ll have to forgive us for now. At the end of the day, this firing is a good thing for your team, so our celebrations are temporary… but for tonight, we will gloat :)

  46. Daniel says:

    Hugo got what he deserved. You saw how all the kids acted at the HDC. Little Hugo’s beggin for cards every single time they flopped.

    Also he couldn’t beat us in friendly matches & the Gold Cup Final.

    He got what he deserved.

  47. CACuzcatlan says:

    mike ruze, they won the U-17 World Cup, not the U-20.

    Its hard to say who has better talent. The U.S. has more players in Europe, but Mexico has players at higher levels in Europe.

  48. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    Steve Sampson, please call your agent. Steve Sampson, please call your agent…

  49. paul Lorinczi says:

    Who cares about Mexico?

    The US needs to focus on beating teams outside our region in tournaments. So, the upcoming schedule against Spain, England and Argentina are the new benchmarks for us.

    The only thing I give Mexico credit is they have a lot of players playing 1st team Football in good leagues in Europe.

  50. joejoejoe says:

    A strong Mexico team is good for the USA. CONCACAF is weak enough.

  51. Brant says:

    Christian said: “Next is the myth that all Mexican players are arrogant and pompous, ”

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I was talking about the *fans*, not the players.

    I’ve played many games from Salinas, CA to Columbus, OH to Raleigh, NC where the assumption was always that “the gringo” has no idea what he’s doing – kinda like the hoops players’ attitude toward Woody Harrelson at the beginning of “White Men Can’t Jump.”

  52. Jim says:

    Too bad, he was a great coach for ….. us, never a doubt thank Mexico would fail to play its best against the US when he was around.

    Still he had it coming, he loudly undermined the previous coach, was arrogant and dismissive of the US and the progress we have made, then did a lousy job of coaching his team. He was a disaster.

    I’ll miss him but in truth we don’t need him to beat Mexico.

  53. Jim Steverson says:

    The arrogance issue for Mexico is real. Hugo, the team as a whole, and the majority of the fan-base refuse to believe what is now obvious – the US is a better team. People can argue about talent, and I actually think Mexico has more and better, but this is a team game.

    Hugo continued the recent pattern for Mexico – no respect for their opponents. Every team must craft and execute a game-plan designed to exploit the weaknesses of the other team, that mitigates their strengths, and to give their team the best chance at a result. Respect your opponent enough to actually craft a game-plan to win.

    It’s an easy choice and it’s a big part of why the US has risen as a program. Mexico has the talent needed to dominate CONCACAF and advance a round or two in the World Cup, but they want to cling to the idea that they belong with the Argentinas and Brazils of the world.

    Hugo did nothing to change the culture of the program and seemed to think that a full embrace of the arrogance was the answer. If Mexico ever takes a dose of humility and approaches games with respect for their opponent, regardless of who that opponent is, they’ve got a bright future.

    The answer for Mexico isn’t to be found in tactics, roster selections, etc. It’s right between their collective ears. You can’t change the current reality without first understanding what and why it is…..

  54. Speedball says:

    What’s Steve Sampson doing these days?

  55. Johnny says:

    As a USMNT supporter honestly I am sad…b/c this guy was terrible and that can only benefit the USMNT. Just imagine if the MEX Fed hired someone with a clue! MEX would be formidable.

  56. Drew says:

    The savior was a dud. What can you say?

    Steve Sampson would be a wonderful replacement.

  57. brett says:

    honestly, anyone who didnt see this coming is blind… Sanchez set the bar high and failed to clear it… and his arrogance clearly was the downfall of the team.. constantly putting pressure on them, while may work with some, doesnt on others

    depending on who they get could make or break the team for 2010, and they better find someone quick with qualifiers coming up…

  58. soccer fan says:

    The firing of hugo sanchez was great new for Mexico’s National Team. He had no sense of tactics and was awful in making in game adjustments. Mexico has a very good crop of young talent and for the first time have enough players in Europe to fill the the starting lineup…exept the goalie position.


    defense: Osorio, Marquez, Salcido, Osorio

    Midfield: Giovani, Pardo, Guardado, Vela

    offense: Castillo, Franco, De Nigris

    Golie: Ochoa (in mexico’s league…being scouted by european clubs)

    Under 23 prospects: Edgar Castillo, Hector Moreno, Dominguez, Andrade, Villaluz, guardado, vela, Giovani, montes (youngster from pachuca that scored on DC), ochoa.

    I don’t remember their names but there are 16 and 17 year olds in mexicos league with talent.

    The U.S also has some good young players.

    With a good coach the U.S might have more than they can handle. Yet, it also benefits the U.S for mexico to have a better coach. High level of competition will only raise the level for both squads.

  59. soccer fan says:

    I listed osorio twice by mistake. the other european defensemen is Aaron Galindo