The Concacaf Nations League began play this week and is sure to provide plenty of drama on the field over the next couple of months. Countries are vying to move to the semifinal round, or avoid relegation, or even jump up a league through promotion. There's always some element of unpredictability in these games, leading to shock results and standout performances from unheralded players.
But maybe the most shocking thing to come from Concacaf this week was the surprise resignation of Costa Rica's manager, Gustavo Matosas. Simply put, Matosas, who has an extensive career managing clubs in South America and Mexico, wasn't exactly enamored with his first international coaching gig. There just wasn't enough to keep him busy.
“I didn’t know being a national team manager was so boring. I don’t regret it and I don’t leave frustrated because I gave my best," Matosas said during this week during a press conference to announce his resignation. "I won’t manage a national team again. I can’t only have the players every two months. It’s not for me.”
Matosas stayed in charge for Costa Rica's game last night, a friendly against Uruguay, who Matosas played seven times for during his career. Fielding mostly a first-choice side, Los Ticos fell 2-1 to Uruguay at home, conceding a 90th-minute winner to the guests. Thus ending Matosas's stint with Costa Rica after just nine games, less than a year after he was hired on to lead Costa Rica through the next World Cup cycle.
Los Ticos have a month until their next game, their debut in the Nations League, against Haiti. In League A's Group D, Costa Rica are expected to finish group play ahead of Haiti and Curaçao. Matosas' exit doesn't really change that, and the side that made the quarterfinals at the 2014 World Cup shouldn't have any issues finding their next manager to lead the team into the next World Cup qualifying cycle.
But it just goes to show that not everything goes to script when it comes to Concacaf. Expect the unexpected, in ways that seem unimaginable at times. And just hope for Costa Rica's sake, that the next manager that they find is OK with only having players to manage once a month.