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Days After Winning The Gold Cup, Herrera Fired From Mexican National Team

Miguel “El Piojo” Herrera just took the Mexican National Team to a Gold Cup championship win against Jamaica earlier this week. This calls for a celebration right? Well, the win feels a bit hollow if you think about it. Mexico’s run in the tournament was mired in officiating controversy and allegations of corruption. Not only that, but Miguel Herrera reportedly punched a journalist in the neck on the way to his flight at the airport. That doesn’t sound like what a champion would do, right?

With craziness still surrounding the Mexican National Team even post Gold Cup, the Mexican Soccer Federation has acted swiftly. El Piojo, the charismatic coach that Mexican fans will miss, is now without a job.

The Mexican Federation has acted swiftly in relieving Herrera from his national team duties and while they still haven’t released a full press release of why they just fired a coach that led their team to Gold Cup glory, many argue that punching TV Azteca commentator Christian Martinoli was the final straw. Back in June, right before the start of the Copa America, Herrera drew criticism from the federation for tweeting a politically charged message aimed at increasing support for Mexico’s Green Party. 

That tweet scandal was followed by a very disappointing Copa America where Mexico failed to make it out of the group stages. A result that the Mexican Federation probably wasn’t too happy with. 

With controversy following Miguel Herrera off the field, it’s also been the on-field displays of the national team that have drawn criticism. Herrera has had a great run with the national team since he took the helm during their World Cup playoff matches against New Zealand, winning 19 matches out of 37 games, with only 7 losses. But their displays recently in the Copa America and the Gold Cup have failed to spark excitement around El Tri. Their most dominating matches in the latter competition were against minnows Cuba, against whom they won 6-0, and Jamaica, whom they beat 3-1 to win the tournament. Outside those two matches, Mexico’s run in the Gold Cup was full of officiating controversy with Mexico getting past Costa Rica with a last minute controversial penalty and getting past Panama in the semi-final with another disputed penalty. Overall, Mexico left much to be desired in their Gold Cup run and the pressure of it all finally got to Herrera, speculatively resulting in his actions against the journalist. 

The Mexican Soccer Federation will be looking for a new head coach; who will be gutsy enough to take the reigns of one of the most difficult jobs in soccer? They’ll have to act quickly with a Confederations Cup playoff match looming in October against the U.S.A. All in all, Herrera will be missed. 

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