Lopez promoted to River Plate coach

Juan Jose Lopez, who served as River Plate’s interim coach after

Angel Cappa resigned last month, was named the club’s new coach

Tuesday.

Lopez said in a radio interview that he had been given the job

and told of his promotion by club president Daniel Passarella.

Lopez, the club’s director of youth clubs, filled in for Cappa

and managed to pull River out of relegation danger. He won four of

six games in charge as River finished the Apertura season with 31

points. He was a surprise choice with many reports suggesting

Estudiantes coach Alejandro Sabella would get the job. Estudiantes

won the season title on Sunday.

Lopez is the third coach named to the job in 14 months,

following Cappa and Leonardo Astrada.

”I’m the coach of River,” Lopez told radio La Red.

”Passarella told me the club directors approved me to stay on the

job.”

In addition to Sabella, Passarella also approached Marcelo

Bielsa about taking over one of Argentina’s most popular clubs.

Bielsa, who stepped down last month as Chile’s national coach,

turned down the approach.