The Ricardo La Volpe era at Club America has come to a close, the veteran coach announced Sunday.
It was the 65-year-old's second stint with Las Aguilas after coaching the club 20 years before in 1996. While his initial goal was accomplished, helping the club reach the playoffs in its 100th anniversary after it parted ways with struggling coach Ignacio "Nacho" Ambriz, he fell well short of expectations in the Clausura.
La Volpe helped America get into the league final and finish fourth in the Club World Cup, but this tournament was unable to match his previous feats after an offseason that saw several key players head for the exits.
"I think a goal was not achieved, for an institution as great as America, which is entering into the Liguilla," La Volpe said as he left the club facility in Mexico City. "The most important is having been in America. I'm thankful to the institution for being in its plans. You have to have something to have gotten to the final, to fight for the championship."
America nearly punched its ticket to the playoffs Saturday, needing just a draw with Pachuca to clinch the final spot. And it looked possible after Manuel Perez scored twice in two minutes to bring things level after Tuzos' pair of first-half goals. But Pachuca center back Oscar Murillo scored in the 79th minute to seal a 3-2 Pachuca win that eliminated both teams from the postseason.
The most likely candidate to replace La Volpe is former America coach Miguel Herrera, who is currently coaching Club Tijuana but often has hinted at his desire to return to Mexico City. Reports in Mexico and Argentina indicate Xolos have lined up a plan in case the former Mexico national team coach rejoins America, opening talks with former Rosario Central coach Eduardo "Chaco" Coudet.