It looks like ensuring a sixth straight World Cup appearance was good enough to get Miguel Herrera the long-term nod as the Mexican national soccer team manager.
Mexico soccer writer Tom Marshall reported Monday evening that Eli Tri have officially named Herrera as their manager, ending a process that has seen them go through three bosses in the past three months:
OFFICIAL: Miguel Herrera named manager of the Mexican national team.— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) December 2, 2013
Herrera was named the temporary Mexican boss in October, taking over for Victor Manuel Vucetich for the stretch run of World Cup qualifying. The situation has been in a massive state of upheaval for much of 2013, with Vucetich having replaced the sacked Jose Manuel de la Torre, who was fired after Mexico's 2-1 loss to Honduras in September.
With their qualification in danger, FMF decided to take a chance on Herrera, a former national team defender who had never managed an international squad before. Mexico then earned the next-to-last bid to Rio de Janeiro under Herrera, capping off their comeback effort with a 9-3 aggregate win over New Zealand in November.
Now, Herrera will have plenty more opportunities to prove his international acumen. Per Marshall, the expectation is that he will lead El Tri through each of the next two World Cups:
FMF plan is that Miguel Herrera will take charge of Mexican national team until Brazil 2014 and continue until Russia 2018.— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) December 2, 2013
It's a blatant attempt to create some much-needed stability that wasn't apparent under de la Torre. Mexico started 2013 by not recording a win in any of their first eight matches, a streak that only concluded with a 2-1 defeat of Japan in the Confederations Cup.
Still, the structure of Herrera's deal is a little unorthodox. Gonzalez Inarritu told Marshall that Herrera signed an "open contract," rather than one that binds the two sides together. With the deal signed, though, Herrera can begin structuring the team in his image, which includes taking a more widespread view in recruiting players.
"(The doors are open) to everyone," Herrera said, via Marshall. "When they say on Monday (that I'm the new coach), I'll be open to the national team and I've promised the Europe-based player that I would go search them out."
Herrera has also served as the boss of América of Liga MX since 2011.
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