So Zambrano took Osorio on the MetroStars’ preseason tour of Spain and Portugal to evaluate him.
“The players took an immediate liking to him because of his preparation for every session and his individual care for each one of them,” said Zambrano, now the director of youth development for Club Deportivo El Nacional in Ecuador. “By the time we got back to New York, he had earned his position.”
The traits refined during those early years set Osorio on a path toward four club championships and two domestic cups as a head coach — and defined a meticulous, intellectual, collective approach that has helped Mexico win or tie 21 successive games.
Mexico will risk that streak Monday night in Houston against Venezuela at the Copa América Centenario, with the victor finishing first in Group C.
Since Osorio became Mexico’s coach in October, the team has won nine consecutive games and allowed only one goal. Yet when he took the job — his first as any national team’s coach — Osorio was criticized before his first game.
“I don’t know how they came up with Osorio, but there are better coaches in Mexico,” said Cruz Azul Coach Tomás Boy, who played for…