MEXICO: America's poor start has a victim

Club America's awful start to the Mexican Primera Division's Clausura campaign has cost coach Manuel Lapuente his job.

The Mexico City giant on Tuesday dismissed Lapuente, a former Mexico national team coach, after the club, among the favorites to win the spring championship, followed a season-opening loss to Pachuca and draw at Jaguares with a last-minute loss Sunday to UANL Tigres.

Chilean Carlos Reinoso's third stint with the Aguilas begins with Saturday's game at overall leader Atlas, the only 3-0-0 team in Mexico's top division. The moves were announced Wednesday.

Lapuente, who coached Mexico at the 1998 World Cup, guided America to the Apertura semifinals last year. The Mexican season's length -- just 17 matches, plus playoffs -- allows clubs little time to find chemistry or rebound from a poor start. America is 16th overall but could jump into the top eight with wins over Atlas and in the following weekend's game against Gallos Blancos at Estadio Azteca.

Reinoso, a former America midfielder, led the Aguilas to league titles in 1983-84 and 1984-85 and also coached the club in 1998. Since then, he has been in charge at Estudiantes Tecos, Leon, Atlante, San Luis and Gallos Blancos.