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Rene Simoes Back in Concacaf
You know I would not be surprised if Rene Simoes were to take another Concacaf team to the Football world Cup (remember he coached the Jamaican Reggae Boyz to the France 1998 historic first and only appearance for the talented and free-spirited island nation).
He resigned from his Brazilian club Portuguesa last month after reporting that armed men broke into the locker room after a loss. And on Wednesday September 16, he was appointed new coach of Costa Rica, replacing Rodrigo Kenton, who was fired after three straight losses. Costa Rica is looking to the 56 year-old Rene Simoes to salvage its 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.
He worked a football miracle to get Jamaica to France 98; organizing the national side into a unit like a club team, and won the hearts of a grateful nation. But he had four years to get the job done.
Somehow he seemed to have peaked thereafter, at least with sides the caliber of Jamaica, and I was happy for the success he had with the Brazilian women side in 2004 Athens Olympics. Went all way to finals and eventually lost to USA.
- USA scores late stoppage-time goal to tie Costa Rica 2-2 - USATODAY.com
The USA had clinched a World Cup berth. Forward Charlie Davies was in a hospital starting a long recovery from a devastating auto accident. Costa Rica needed a win Wednesday to assure itself of advancing to the 2010 tournament.
Football fans would recall that the history-making Simoes failed to qualify the Jamaican team the second time around when he was recalled by the Horace Burrell administration for the 2010 campaign. Yet the enigmatic little Brazilian has a charm and air of genius about him that makes you wonder what he will cook up next.
Simoes takes over a fourth place Costa Rica in the six-team regional qualifying group from which the top three advance to South Africa 2010 and the fourth-place finisher goes into a playoff with a South American team. The Ticos have two games remaining, at home against Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10 and against the U.S. in Washington on Oct. 14.
Simoes is a strong disciplinarian and this should resonate well if the Costa Ricans are not as rebellious as Jamaicans. Time and two games will tell. Welcome back to Concacaf Rene.