Soccer  > General Soccer  > Ex-Mexico manger Lavolpe takes reins of Ticos
September 9, 2010, 02:39 PM
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - Former Mexican national team manager Ricardo Lavolpe was formally announced as the manager of Costa Rica on Thursday, ending weeks of speculation and reports about the Argentinean native taking over the Ticos.

A member of the "Albicelestes" World Cup winning side in 1978, Lavolpe replaces interim manager Ronald Gonzalez, who had in charge since Brazilian Rene Simoes left in 2009 following Costa Rica's unsuccessful bid to qualify for the World Cup.

The 58-year-old Lavolpe was manager of Mexico from 2002-2006, winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2003 and guiding it through the World Cup in Germany.

His coaching resume includes stints at several well-known clubs including Boca Juniors (2006) and Velez Sarsfield (2007) in his native Argentina, as well as his adopted home of Mexico: Chivas de Guadalajara (1989-1990), America (1996), Toluca (2001-2003), Monterrey (2008), Atlas (2009) and Atlante (1991-1996), with which he won the Mexican league title in 1993.

Lavolpe first met with Costa Rican federation officials weeks ago, but reportedly disagreed over severance pay if he was fired.

The Ticos qualified for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups but were denied a third consecutive trip to the finals when Jonathan Bornstein scored an injury time goal to give the United States a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica on October 14.

The result qualified Honduras for the first time since 1982 on goal difference, and relegated Costa Rica to a playoff with Uruguay, which prevailed 2-1 on aggregate.

After a 2-2 draw at Grenada to open World Cup qualifying on June 14, 2008, Costa Rica won its next eight straight and appeared to be on a definite path for a berth in South Africa. A 2-0 loss to Mexico on March 28, 2009, was followed by three more victories.

But consecutive losses to Honduras, Costa Rica and El Salvador - in which it was outscored 8-0 - resulted in the firing of manager Rodrigo Kenton and the hiring of Simoes.

Simoes won only one game in four, all qualifiers, losing two, resulting in his departure. Costa Rica
has won only one match in its last nine, a 1-0 friendly victory over World Cup side Switzerland on June 1.

Its next schedule match is against Honduras on January 14 in the opening round of the Copa Centroamericana in Panama.

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