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Ferretti reveals previous job offer from U.S. Soccer

8:47 AM MYT 11/09/2018
Ricardo Ferretti México
The El Tri interim manager says that in the 1990s he turned down an opportunity to come to the United States

Mexico interim manager Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti has said during the past several weeks that he doesn't want to take over the Mexico national team job full-time. Monday, ahead of a friendly against the United States, he made clear he has even less interest in taking over the U.S. job.

This summer, the coach signed a three-year contract extension with Tigres. His desire to stay loyal to the northern Mexico club has been the driving factor behind the manager not signing up as Juan Carlos Osorio's replacement. There would be an even bigger barrier were the USMNT to seek out Ferretti's assistance.

"I don’t want to. I don’t know how to speak English, and I don’t want to learn," he said when asked if he'd listen to an approach from U.S. Soccer. Earlier this week, U.S. men's national team general manager Earnie Stewart said speaking English is a prerequisite for the job.

Ferretti's lack of English skills apparently didn't deter previous approaches from U.S. Soccer, though. The 64-year-old said former U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati made an offer that he turned down to stay in Mexico, back when Gulati was deputy commissioner of MLS during the league's early years.

"A long time ago, Sunil Gulati offered me a 10-year contract, but not to be the coach of the national team," he said. "It was to organize the youth teams in the United States to develop players for all the teams in MLS.

"That was a long time ago. Sunil, I’ve known him since I was a player. Now we’re old," he continued, laughing.

Ferretti went on to say that the USMNT is in a similar situation to Mexico, with plenty of talented candidates to take over the currently vacant national team job.

"I think like Mexico, they have very talented managers. Bruce Arena and other managers, everything they done with the U.S. they’ve done good things," he said. "I think both countries have great coaches and have plenty to pick from."

Even if Ferretti thinks there are managers better-equipped to take over the job for El Tri, it's clear that many members of the Mexican press have decided he's wrong. The majority of questions in Ferretti's pre-match news conference were about the potential for the coach staying on. While he continued to close the door on the idea, he didn't slam it shut as he has on previous occasions.

He also said there is a clause that he or the federation would have to pay to Tigres were he to break his contract and leave for the national team. Ferretti has mentioned several times the experience he had as an assistant coach to Miguel Mejia Baron at the 1994 World Cup. 

"I believe there is a clause. I don’t know the amount, honestly. I understand that there is one," he said. "Aside from that, the thing is that in the first place I want to fulfill my contract, so I’m not going to go and explain that. Once again, everyone can tell me, 'Oh, you can get here and...' I already was there. I participated. I filled my ego. If it happens, it would be for other reasons. 

Earlier in the news conference Ferretti had expressed hope that the Mexican federation would find a coach before the October FIFA dates but then conceded it was likely he still would be leading the team for the pair of matches set to take place in Mexico.