América soccer coach steps down in Mexico City

La Volpe leaves "eagle's nest" after string of losses
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
08/05/2017
08:42
Reuters
Mexico City
-A +A

América's Argentine soccer coach Ricardo La Volpe announced his departure on Sunday, a day after they failed to qualify for a chance to win the title in Mexico's Clausura tournament.

La Volpe, who steered Mexico to CONCACAF Gold Cup victory in 2003, the last 16 at the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany and won the Liga MX title with Atlante soccer team in 1993, is renowned for the quality of the football played by his teams.

But on Saturday, the last day of the regular season, América lost 3-2 at home to Pachuca, marking their third defeat and forfeiting the chance to compete in the 'Fiesta Grande', where the top eight teams from the regular season square off.

"We did not reach a very important objective for an institution as big as América, which is to enter the post-season," said La Volpe, a former goalkeeper who has spent most of his coaching career in Mexico.

La Volpe, nicknamed Bigotón for his trademark big mustache, returned as América's coach in September, 20 years after coaching Mexico's most successful team with 12 titles.

They lost the 2016 Apertura final against Tigres UANL. "I am grateful for having again led a team as big as América and because my players accepted me and they killed themselves on the field," La Volpe said.

"There were positive things, but this institution and its fans want championships and that has to be respected," he added.

Local media reported that Tijuana coach Miguel Herrera, nicknamed El piojo or "the louse," will take La Volpe's place when his spell with the "Xoloitzcuintles" finishes this month.

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