Paraguay hires former Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio

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A highly coveted head coaching candidate has come off the board.

Former Mexico head coach Juan Carlos Osorio has landed with Paraguay, the federation announced Monday. According to Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep, Osorio had offers from Costa Rica, South Korea and Egypt, as well as Brazilian clubs Santos and Palmeiras. Mexico offered Osorio a new contract after the World Cup, but he declined.

Galarcep also revealed that the United States National Team did not make an offer to Osorio, because new General Manager Earnie Stewart has yet to begin interviewing candidates. Osorio’s home country of Colombia was also not apparently among those who made an offer, although he was thought to be in the running to replace Jose Pekerman.

According to Galarcep, Paraguay made the most attractive offer to Osorio, giving him “lots of control” over the squad and program.

Paraguay missed out on qualification for the 2018 World Cup by just two points in CONMEBOL qualifying, falling narrowly to Venezuela on the final matchday of the cycle. The team has a promising backbone of youth to it, led by Atlanta United’s Miguel Almiron and New York Red Bulls midfielder Kaku, who made the one-time switch from Argentina in May and earned his first cap in June.

Former manager Francisco “Chiqui” Arce was let go when the team did not qualify for the World Cup, but was hired soon after by Paraguayan club General Diaz. Paraguay has played just two matches in all of 2018, falling to both the United States and Japan in friendlies.

Osorio’s time with Mexico had ups and downs, but he was generally considered a successful boss. Known as a lineup tinkerer, Osorio had a 33-10-9 record with Mexico, and defeated Germany in the World Cup, helping to stunningly boot the defending champions in the group stage.