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Oct 18, 2013

Miguel Herrera named El Tri coach

The Mexico Football Federation on Friday officially named Miguel "El Piojo" Herrera to replace Victor Manuel Vucetich as El Tri coach.

"I have achieved the unconditional support from all the club owners to back Miguel Herrera so that he gets us qualified," said federation president Justino Compean Friday. "I am grateful to Club America for loaning us their entire technical staff for this important test. We have 180 minutes left."

Club America coach Herrera becomes Mexico's fourth coach in three months and is tasked with the immediate challenge of leading El Tri to victory Nov. 13 and 19 at the 2014 World Cup qualifying international playoff vs. New Zealand.

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Herrera was named to replace Vucetich, who skippered the squad for two important matches to close out the 2014 CONCACAF qualifier.

"We are in our perfect right to terminate the contract of Mr. Vucetich," Compean said. "We must be clear, we didn't qualify for the [international] playoff. We were qualified [by the U.S.]."

 

Mexico got the fourth and final CONCACAF qualifying spot -- and the rights to the playoff berth -- after the United States rallied with two late goals to beat Panama 3-2, thus bumping Panama from that fourth spot. Minutes before, Mexico had lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to Costa Rica.

Vucetich told ESPN.com's Rene Tovar late Thursday that the director of the national team, Gonzalez Inarritu, informed him he would longer be Mexico's coach.

"It has been an experience. It was a positive one but not the one I would have liked. It is over just like that. I am arrogant, I am King Midas, not God. This is why we are in this shape," said Vucetich, who is known as "King Midas" after winning 14 of 15 finals he has managed in his career.

The Mexico Soccer Federation's development committee, which includes eight of the 12 Mexican league club owners, made the decision during an emergency meeting Friday and Herrera will be presented during a formal news conference on Sunday. Herrera will be El Tri's fourth coach in five matches.

In September during the heat of CONCACAF Hexagonal qualifying, Mexico changed coaches three times in one week. The federation appointed Vucetich after interim coach Luis Fernando Tena skippered a heartbreaking 2-0 loss to the United States. Tena coached just that one match. He had been named to replace beleaguered coach Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre, who was axed after the team's 2-1 home loss to Honduras.

El Tri has qualified for five straight World Cups, last missing out in 1990, when the team was banned from qualifying for using ineligible players in a junior tournament. The last time Mexico participated in qualifying and did not reach the World Cup was 1982.

Information from ESPN Deportes was used in this report.

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