Juan Carlos Osorio steps down as Paraguay manager

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After only five months, Juan Carlos Osorio is leaving his post as Paraguay National Team manager.

The Paraguayan FA confirmed the news on Wednesday in a press conference from Asuncion, with the FA president Robert Harrison stating that both sides mutually agreed to cancel Osorio’s contract. Osorio then stated that “family problems” were the reason he had to leave the job after such a short time in charge. Osorio coached just one match in charge of Paraguay, a 1-1 draw at South Africa last November.

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“For family reasons of my own, unfortunately I cannot remain in office, I would like to thank you for your support,” Osorio said. “It was a pride for me, directing, driving and training the national team.”

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The decision leaves Paraguay behind the eight ball, just four months before the Copa America. On the plus side for Paraguay, due to the 2022 World Cup being played in November and December, World Cup qualification doesn’t begin for another 13 months.

On the other hand, it’s a strange turn of events for Osorio, who led Mexico to a famous World Cup win over Germany, though he was not able to get to the much-desired “quinto partido,” or fifth game during the tournament in Russia. Osorio goes down as one of El Tri’s most successful managers, even though he had a rocky relationship with the press and fan base during nearly his entire tenure. Despite winning 33 games, beating the U.S. Men’s National Team in Columbus, Ohio and qualifying for both the Confederations Cup and World Cup, he’ll be remembered more for the defeats. There’s the 7-0 shellacking against Chile in the 2016 Copa America, the 2-1 defeat to Portugal at the Confederations Cup and ultimately, the defeats to Sweden and Brazil at the 2018 World Cup.

When Osorio became a free agent last July, there was plenty of speculation in the media that Osorio could become the next USMNT manager, due to his previous work in MLS and understanding of CONCACAF’s qualification maze. However, while the USMNT waffled on candidates and eventually settled with Gregg Berhalter, Osorio quickly found a home in Paraguay.

The timing of the move likely means that Osorio will have to wait a while before he can get a new national team job, though there will likely be club teams vying for his services across South America in the coming months.