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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.”

[READ: UEFA investigating PSG, Man United fan behavior]

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.

Paraguay coach Osorio denies reports of his resignation

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According to ESPN reporter Tom Marshall, Paraguay national team coach Juan Carlos Osorio has denied reports out of Paraguay that he has resigned from his post without having taken charge of a single match.

Osorio was hired by Paraguay in September after stepping down post-World Cup from his position in charge of the Mexican national team.

Sistema Nacional de Television reporter Javier Sosa Briganti tweeted on Sunday evening that Osorio had stepped down due to a payment disagreement with the Paraguayan federation. Marshall, however, reported just two hours later that Osorio had told him the initial reports were false.

While Osorio’s desire to take charge of his home country has been quite public, Colombia has recently hired Portuguese boss Carlos Queiroz. His spell in charge of Mexico saw him lead to a successful period that included World Cup wins over Germany and South Korea, but ultimately ended after yet another Round of 16 defeat to Brazil.

Paraguay was recently drawn into a difficult Copa America group that includes Argentina, Colombia, and Qatar. Osorio will take charge of his first match with Paraguay in March as the country plays against Peru and Mexico in international friendlies, with the Copa America set to begin in mid-June.

According to Marshall’s report, Osorio has been scouting Paraguayan players of late, traveling most recently to Argentina where he met with Atletico Banfield technical director Hernan Crespo. National team players that play in Argentina include Boca Juniors defender Junior Alonso, River Plate defender Jorge Moreira, and Godoy Cruz defender Danilo Ortiz who is currently on loan to Paraguayan side Libertad.

Report: Philadelphia close to adding El Tri mid Fabian

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Longtime Chivas Guadalajara and Mexico attacking midfielder Marco Fabian is returning to North America, according to ESPN broadcaster Taylor Twellman.

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Fabian, 29, is close to agreeing to a deal to join the Philadelphia Union after three-and-a-half seasons with Eintracht Frankfurt.

A regular under Niko Kovac, Fabian has made just two appearances under new Eintracht coach Adi Hutter.

Fabian missed most of last season with injury, but registered seven goals and four assists during the 2017-18 Bundesliga season.

Should he link up with Philly, he’ll be tasked with helping to fill the void caused by the departure of Borek Dockal.

Fabian has 42 caps for Mexico.

Must-See Goal: Jean Meneses, Club Leon (video)

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What a way to get your first goal for your club.

Jean Meneses connected on a spectacular scissor kick late in the first half for his side, Club Leon to give them a 2-0 lead over Cruz Azul at the time in Liga MX action. It was Meneses’ first goal of the club since joining last summer. Meneses took a cross from Angel Mena, noticed it was behind him, and quickly adjusted to unleash a firebolt in for a goal.

[READ: USMNT Player Ratings: Costa Rica]

Watch and enjoy the video below.

Lozano released from hospital following head injury

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Mexican international Hirving “Chucky” Lozano was released from the hospital following a head injury that occurred just before halftime of his club match with PSV against Groningen.

Lozano, who has had a spectacular last year with Mexico, scored both of PSV’s goals inside the opening 20 minutes of an eventual 2-1 victory, but just before halftime he was involved in a clash of heads with Groningen’s Tim Handwerker and required a substitution.

PSV coach Mark Van Bommel did not specify after the match what Lozano’s injury was, but simply stated that he had taken a “hard hit.” Replays showed Handwerker looked to head the ball, but missed and actively thumped the back of Lozano’s head with his own forehead.

The news is good for PSV, who will want the in-form attacker on the field as soon as possible. The official team release said that Lozano is “day-to-day.” The statement said, “His workload will be examined from day to day on the basis of the applicable FIFA protocols.”

The 23-year-old has 13 goals in 19 Eredivisie appearances after Saturday’s brace, and he has another four goals in eight European appearances. He was a menace at the World Cup last summer, scoring the only goal in the win over Germany and assisting one in the South Korea victory.