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Future of Mexico coach Monica Vergara uncertain after Concacaf collapse

Monica Vergara’s team lost all three of its Concacaf W Championship group matches. (Alfredo Estrella/AFP via Getty Images)

Mexico women’s national team coach Monica Vergara maintains a tenuous hold on her job after the country’s soccer federation fired its sporting director and national teams director, the federation announced Wednesday.

ESPN initially reported that Vergara had been dismissed alongside general sporting director Gerardo Torrado and men’s U-20 team coach Luis Pérez.

Torrado, Pérez and national teams director Ignacio Hierro have been relieved of their duties, but Vergara’s future will be determined by new leadership, federation president Yon de Luisa said in a press conference.

Vergara was named head coach of the senior national team in January 2021 after stints with Mexico’s youth national teams.

“In the case of Monica Vergara, women’s national team head coach, it will be the new sports department that will evaluate and take decisions accordingly,” said de Luisa, who added that “new members of the sports department” will be announced “in the following days.”

The dismissals of Torrado and Hierro make space for Mexico’s federation to restructure its women’s program in particular. Women’s teams will move to their own department, and the federation will hire two national team directors — one for the men’s side, another for the women’s side, The Athletic’s Felipe Cárdenas reported.

“These changes are made in order to avoid the results that we had in the past weeks,” de Luisa said.

The moves come after the women’s national team failed to qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the 2024 Olympics. Mexico lost all three of its group stage matches this month as hosts of the Concacaf W Championship, which leaves the country on the outside looking in for the premier international tournaments.

“I’m not a person that gives up on things. Evidently, I’m going to be evaluated,” Vergara said following the team’s loss to the USWNT. “If the cycle finishes here, it’s been a spectacular ride.”

Mexico had been viewed as a favorite for one of Concacaf’s four direct spots into next year’s World Cup, which will take place in New Zealand and Australia. Headed into the W Championship, the team had a 10-game undefeated streak under its belt, with 52 goals scored during that time.

The first two group-stage losses knocked Mexico out of contention for one of the direct berths. The team still could have reached an inter-confederation play-in tournament with a third-place finish in four-team Group A, but a 1-0 loss to the USWNT closed the door on Mexico’s World Cup chances.

Vergara took full responsibility for the team’s fourth-place finish, saying she considered it a “personal failure.”

“We must salvage the good things that are developing in our country,” she added. “This women’s soccer project in our country is growing and it’s taking many solid steps.”