Paraguay back in the hunt for new manager after Osorio quits

February 14 – Juan Carlos Osorio and Paraguay have parted ways by mutual consent just months before this summer’s Copa America. The Colombian took over Paraguay in September, but he cited family reasons for his unexpected departure. 

Osorio was set to oversee friendly matches against Peru and Mexico in March, but following days of speculation in the Paraguayan media the 57-year old has stepped down from his role as Paraguay coach.

In a news conference, Osorio made the announcement alongside the president of the Paraguay’s Football Association (APF) Robert Harrison. The former Mexico coach cited family issues as the reason for leaving his post. “For my own family reasons, unfortunately I can’t continue in the job,” said Osorio. “I’d like to thank you all for your support. It brought me pride to manage, lead and train the national team.”

“I would like to tell you that today we’ve been speaking with manager Juan Carlos Osorio where we made the decision, together, to annul his contract with the Paraguayan Football Association,” said Harrison. “We want to thank Osorio for all the good things he taught us in this short stay in national football. Also, we’d like to clarify that both he and us have complied fully with the contract that united us until today.”

Osorio spent just five-and-a-half months in charge of Paraguay, playing out a 1-1 draw against South Africa in November. Last month he attended the Copa America draw in Brazil and said that Paraguay’s group with Argentina, Colombia and Qatar “couldn’t be more difficult.”

Osorio moved to Paraguay after he led Mexico to the round of 16 at the 2018 Russia World Cup. The Mexicans defeated then reigning champions Germany in their opening game, but ran into Brazil in the knockout stages as they failed yet again to progress to the last eight of the tournament.  In the past Osorio has coached Sao Paulo, Atletico Nacional and Puebla as well as the New York Red Bulls and Chicago Fire in the MLS.

Harrison says the APF will begin its search for Osorio’s successor on Thursday as Paraguay seek to build ahead of this summer’s Copa America.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1563499265labto1563499265ofdlr1563499265owedi1563499265sni@o1563499265fni1563499265