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Herrera replaces Vucetich as Mexico coach

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico's national soccer team has its fourth coach in six weeks.

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Miguel Herrera was hired as coach of El Tri on Friday in place of Victor Manuel Vucetich and will guide the team in next month's two-game playoff against New Zealand for a World Cup berth. Mexican federation officials said they would evaluate after the two matches to decide if Herrera will continue.

Jose Manuel De la Torre was fired after a 2-1 home loss to Honduras on Sept. 6, and Luis Fernando Tena was let go following a 2-0 loss at the United States on Sept. 10. Vucetich coached El Tri in a 2-1 home over Panama last week and a 2-1 loss to Costa Rica on Tuesday.

Mexico, which last missed the World Cup in 1990, advanced to the playoff when the United States scored twice in stoppage time to win 3-2 at Panama.

''This is a crisis situation we are going through,'' Mexican Football Federation President Justino Compean said. ''Nobody planned for this, and nobody likes it. We are sorry for our fans, we are saddened along with our club owners, and we are sorry for our sponsors.''

Herrera is the eighth coach in the last seven years.

''Of course this is not ideal, and nobody likes to keep changing coaches,'' Compean said. ''When we hired De la Torre, we did it with the intention that he would stay with us through the World Cup cycle. But the results weren't there, and when the results aren't there, you have to make decisions.''

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