- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 19, 2010

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Jose Manuel De La Torre has been hired as the new coach of Mexico’s national soccer team, less than five years after making his coaching debut.

De La Torre’s post was confirmed at a meeting of Mexican club owners Monday. His nomination was almost a formality after the only other contender, Victor Manuel Vucetich, dropped out of the race Saturday for personal reasons.

The 44-year-old, who will leave his job at Mexican club Toluca, began his coaching career in 2006 and has won three Mexican league titles.

“This is a dream I’ve had since I was a child,” he said.

De La Torre takes over from Javier Aguirre, who left after Mexico was eliminated in the second round of the World Cup. Two temporary coaches have overseen Mexico since then.

“It’s a dream to represent your country,” De La Torre said. “As I developed as a coach I kept feeding the same dream every day.”

De La Torre acknowledged his primary objective as Mexico coach will be to make sure the team qualifies for the 2014 World Cup, but he takes over amid a crisis in Mexican soccer.

Last month, 11 players were handed fines and two others _ Carlos Vela of Arsenal and Efrain Juarez of Celtic _ were given six-month suspensions for holding an all-night party after an international friendly against Colombia.

The 11 fined players, upset at the punishments and angry the outing had been made public, threatened to boycott future matches unless national team director Nestor De La Torre _ Jose Manuel’s brother _ left his job.

The players turned up for the subsequent match against Venezuela in October, but Nestor De La Torre resigned hours before the game, which ended 2-2.

Mexico has won just one of its past four matches.



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