Mexico’s Osorio admits contact with parties ‘linked’ to American soccer – ESPN FC
Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio has not had any direct contact from U.S. Soccer about the vacant men’s national team head coach’s position, but isn’t ruling anything out.
“[Has there been] anything concrete as yet? No,” Osorio said in an interview with Radio Marca Claro. “But there have been some contacts from people linked to American soccer.”
Osorio has previously coached New York Red Bulls and Chicago Fire, is fluent in English and his contract with Mexico expires at the end of the World Cup, with no firm agreement as yet on a new one.
“I think [the U.S.] is an extraordinary country that I appreciate for what it gave me in academic and professional preparation,” stated the Colombian in the same interview. “I didn’t just graduate in the United States, I also worked in MLS, a league I respect a lot.”
“Obviously it is a national team that has an important reputation, it’s a recognized national team and an extraordinary country,” said Osorio.
The 56-year-old “lamented” the Stars & Stripes not making Russia 2018, following the last round of matches in the CONCACAF Hexagonal, in which Osorio guided Mexico to a first-placed finish.
In the same interview, however, Osorio didn’t rule out extending his contract with El Tri, even though he has been heavily criticized in Mexico.
“I could renew for five years,” said Osorio. “Aside from what they say about the rotations, they’ve helped to catapult and consolidate players like Nestor Araujo, Hirving Lozano, Jesus Gallardo and Edson Alvarez.”
“I think that if you include what is coming, the possibility of seeing how their careers turn out in the future is an incentive and a motivation that would encourage me to extend my contract,” said the coach.
Mexico plays Belgium and Poland next month, and Osorio hinted that Belgium-based midfielder Omar Govea will get his first call-up, as well as Groningen’s Uriel Antuna.
Osorio stated in a separate interview with Esto that Colombia-born forward Aviles Hurtado — who is a naturalized Mexican and played under Osorio at Atletico Nacional — may also come into contention for a call ahead of the World Cup.
The coach said in-form 30-year-old Hurtado is a player he respects and admires, but added he will analyze a call-up by stripping away his past involvement with the forward and by judging based strictly on what is best for Mexico.
Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.