The Juan Carlos Osorio era is over, and the search for Mexico's next senior national team manager is on.
Osorio, who managed Mexico from November 2015 until this summer's World Cup, will not return, the Mexican federation confirmed Friday. As Goal reported July 19, the manager was offered a new contract to take control of the team for the next cycle but decided to turn down the offer.
"After a period of reflection, of deep analysis and diverse conversations between Juan Carlos Osorio and the Mexican Federation of Football, 'profesor' Osorio has decided not to be considered as a possible candidate for manager of the Mexican national team for the 2018-2022 cycle," the federation said in a statement released Friday.
The manager's contract ran through the end of the World Cup, and while the FMF looked to convince Osorio to return, the manager is ready for a new challenge.
"This messages serves to send my most sincere thanks to the Mexican fans, the Mexican Federation of Football, the employees in the Cento de Alto Rendimiento (training center) and especially ALL the players who I had the privilege to work with and spend time with during my time as the manager of the Mexican national team, a role I took on with commitment, passion and pride," Osorio wrote in a statement released by the FMF.
"In my name and in that of my coaching staff, many thanks to EVERYONE for this unique and unmatchable professional and life experience."
Sources confirmed to Goal on Thursday that Osorio has been contacted by a number of different teams, and that number may grow in the upcoming days with the United States set to begin its search to fill its coaching vacancy when Earnie Stewart takes over as general manager on Aug. 1.
Osorio closes out his tenure with 33 wins, 10 defeats and nine draws, good for a 63.5 percent winning percentage that places him highest among Mexico managers in the modern era. Despite that, he was heavily criticized by Mexican fans and the press for his unconventional methods and for lopsided defeats in major tournaments.
He mostly took those criticism in stride, saying he didn't hear fans chanting "Fuera Osorio" (Osorio out) at the end of Mexico's World Cup send-off game, a 1-0 victory over Scotland. It was clear, however, that the constant questioning of his squad rotations and tactics wore on the 56-year-old.
"I think we’ve had a good cycle. We’ve suffered, I’ve cried. But, it taught me the patience to put up with things because it hasn’t been easy, but I wouldn’t change the experience for anything," he said before Mexico's second group match at the World Cup. "I’m very thankful with Mexico, with the federation, with this group of players to give me this great opportunity that I think is preparing me for any other footballing challenge."
Mexico's new federation president, Yon de Luisa, now has a challenge on his hands with no obvious successor to Osorio currently available. El Tri reportedly would be open to playing its September friendly contests against Uruguay and the United States with an interim manager before naming a long-term coach ahead of the 2019 Gold Cup.