In what was the worst-kept secret in recent Mexican soccer history, Jose Manuel "Chepo" De La Torre was officially named manager of the Mexican national team.
De La Torre, who won league titles with Chivas and Toluca, will take over once the Apertura 2010 season ends. He will be Mexico's fourth manager of 2010, although he will not have the opportunity to manage the team until February.
His first tournament will be the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will be held in June. The winner of next summer's tournament will clinch a spot in the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, which could be a significant step for El Tricolor to take.
De La Torre's brother Nestor recently resigned from his post as director of national teams after an scandal involving disciplinary action he took over 13 Mexican internationals. That resignation, though, did not alter "Chepo" De La Torre's course.
Mexico began 2010 with high hopes of making history in South Africa. Then-manager Javier Aguirre said as much, that Mexico would get to at least the fifth game and do something special at the World Cup. Instead, Aguirre's final days with El Tri were embroiled in controversy over player selection, notably the inclusion of Guillermo Franco and Oscar Perez while excluding Andres Guardado and Guillermo Ochoa.
After the World Cup, Aguirre and the Mexican Football Federation parted ways and the FMF went with a pair of interim managers. Enrique Meza led Mexico to a 1-1 draw with Spain while Efrain Flores was caretaker after that. In his brief tenure with Mexico, Flores went 1-1-1.
De La Torre now takes over a team with a load of promise. At his disposal are strong young talents such as Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Pablo Barrera, Carlos Vela, Giovani Dos Santos and Efrain Juarez among others. Perhaps more significant, the number of aging veterans the team relies on diminished after the World Cup. Rafael Marquez and Gerardo Torrado are the only three-time World Cup veterans who figure to play a large role in this World Cup cycle.
De La Torre was selected ahead of Victor Manuel Vucetich, who had interviewed for the post but pulled out of the running on the weekend.