Juan Carlos Osorio steps down as Mexico head coach

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After leading Mexico to a Round of 16 appearance at the 2018 World Cup, Juan Carlos Osorio has stepped down has head coach of the Mexican national team.

The Mexican federation announced Friday that Osorio would depart, defiantly confirming that the 56-year-old declined a contract extension that would have carried him through the 2022 World Cup. Reports indicate he has already met with a host of other international federations, having informed the FMF a week ago of his decision. Considering reports have been swirling for days that Osorio will not just step down but weigh other job offers, it is likely that he is officially scooped up by another federation in a short period of time.

In a short statement, Osorio thanked the fans, employees, and players for what he called a “unique and unparalleled professional and life experience.”

Osorio took charge of El Tri in 2015 after the sudden firing of Miguel Herrera. The Colombian was tasked with following Herrera’s tenure, a tall task given how well Herrera was liked by the fans. Osorio succeeded with flying colors, often praised for his tinkering managerial style.

He won 33 of his 52 matches in charge, drawing nine and losing 10. His .721 win percentage is the highest of any coach to ever take charge of more than 20 games for Mexico. They finished a distant first in CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifying, but saw mixed results in this summer’s tournament. After winning its first two matches in impressive fashion, including a stunning win over defending champions Germany, they faltered in their final group stage match, beaten soundly by Sweden and failing to secure victory atop Group F. That left them with an unfavorable knockout round match against favorites Brazil, which saw Mexico eliminated for the seventh straight time in the Round of 16.

According to Goal.com, Osorio has already been contacted by six other national teams, including two in South America – one being his home nation of Colombia, who currently employs Jose Pekerman. The report states the United States is not one of those teams, but many have speculated that could take place in the near future. The report says the lack of contact from the United States is mainly due to the gap in power with incoming general manager Earnie Stewart not officially beginning his job until August 1.