Costa Rica news

Costa Rica fires Kenton as national team coach

September 14, 2009

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- Costa Rica fired coach Rodrigo Kenton on Tuesday following three straight losses in World Cup qualifying.

Several possible successors surfaced, including Leo Beenhakker, Hans Westerhof, Jose Pekerman and Cruz Azul coach Enrique Meza.

Costa Rica, which once led the North and Central American and Caribbean region, is fourth with 12 points following losses to Honduras, Mexico and El Salvador. The United States leads with 16 points, one ahead of Mexico and three in front of Honduras.

"We thank Rodrigo for what he has done," Costa Rican federation president Eduardo Li said in a statement. "But results are important and, despite his good work, the last three games have been costly."

The top three teams qualify and the No. 4 team faces a playoff with the fifth-place nation from South America.

Costa Rica hosts Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10, then closes four days later against the United States at Washington D.C.

"In football, you know that in every game your life is on the line," Kenton said. "It's been a beautiful experience. ... We're still in the fight to qualify with games against Trinidad and the United States. We still have hope. But I'm telling you the toughest is yet to come."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press