- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico soccer coach Sven-Goran Eriksson was fired Thursday, a day after a 3-1 loss to Honduras in a World Cup qualifier.

Eriksson had been the coach for less than a year, but Mexico had just one win in its last seven games.

“We told Mr. Eriksson that his term with the national team has finished,” Justino Compean, president of Mexico’s soccer federation, said at a news conference.

Eriksson, a 61-year-old Swede, is a former England coach and the first foreigner to coach Mexico in 11 years. He was hired in June to replace Mexican star Hugo Sanchez, who was fired after the country’s under-23 team failed to qualify for the Olympics.

Eriksson stirred controversy inside a country fiercely loyal to its national team when he added four naturalized citizens to the roster.

After the announcement, Eriksson wished the team luck and said the country’s patience had run out. He said he, too, was “frustrated by the results” but remained optimistic Mexico would still qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Honduras overtook Mexico in CONCACAF qualifying, jumping from last place to third with four points, one ahead of the Mexicans. The United States leads with seven points, and Costa Rica is second with six.

Possible coaching successors include two Mexicans: former Atletico Madrid coach Javier Aguirre, who left the struggling Spanish club also after a losing streak, and Jose Manuel de la Torre, the coach of Toluca, last year’s Mexican league champion.

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