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Mexico set to hire Tigres’ Diego Cocca as new men’s national team coach

Tigres head coach Diego Cocca is set to become the next manager of Mexico men’s national team, sources told ESPN’s David Faitelson on Wednesday.

Cocca was selected over Pachuca’s Guillermo Almada for the job, leaving just details to be finalized in his contract regarding his date of arrival and salary, sources said.

An announcement from the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) is expected as early as Thursday.

FMF have already had conversations with Tigres about hiring the Argentinian coach, who would leave for free if the national team hire him, despite signing with the Liga MX club last November, according to the sources.

Following interviews and analysis from the Mexico national teams executive director Rodrigo Ares de Parga, sporting director Jaime Ordiales, and a newly formed committee — made up of Liga MX leadership from Chivas, Santos Laguna, Club America, Necaxa, Club Tijuana and FMF president Yon de Luisa — Cocca is the current preferred to be given the job with El Tri.

The 50-year-old Argentine has ties to the committee after previously coaching Tijuana and Atlas, a team co-owned by Santos through Grupo Orlegi.

Sources previously told ESPN Mexico that Miguel “Piojo” Herrera, Guillermo Almada, Ignacio Ambriz, Antonio Mohamed and Marcelo Bielsa have all also been in the running for the El Tri position.

Cocca would have his first experience at the international level. The former defender has previously coached clubs in Argentina, Colombia, and most recently, Mexico, where he attained back-to-back Liga MX titles with Atlas in the 2021 Apertura and 2022 Clausura.

Cocca could soon fill the managerial shoes of countryman Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who immediately left the national team after his contract expired at the end of Mexico’s lackluster exit in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup.

The next Mexico coach will need to hit the ground running in order to prepare for Nations League matches away against Suriname (Mar. 23) and at home versus Jamaica (Mar. 26).

In the build-up to the 2026 World Cup that Mexico will co-host with the United States and Canada, El Tri will play their first tournament in June with the CONCACAF’s 2023 Gold Cup.

Steve Carr

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