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Mid-Day Ticker: Osorio resigns, Guardiola likens Messi to Jordan & more

OsorioLandin (Getty Images)

Juan Carlos Osorio is on the move again. 

According to reports from Mexico, the former Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls coach has resigned from his post as manager of Puebla after just a few months in charge.

Osorio, who took over at Puebla in November, has seen his team struggle during the Mexican Clausura campaign. Puebla, which employs DaMarcus Beasley and former Houston Dynamo Designated Player Luis Angel Landin, has lost five straight matches and has just eight points out of 11 games.

Reports out of Colombia link Osorio to a return to Once Caldas, where he managed last year before becoming a candidate for national team jobs in Honduras and Costa Rica and ultimately winding up with Puebla.

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:


Lionel Messi's legend continues to grow by the game, and Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola is one of the millions taking notice. With his front-row seat to Messi's dominance, Guardiola has compared Messi to another one of the most dominant athletes of our time: Michael Jordan.

"You have few players who dominate like this, but he does it," said Guardiola, who watched as the 24-year-old Messi broke Cesar Rodriguez' all-time goal-scoring mark for Barcelona with a hat trick on Tuesday. "You can compare him perfectly to Jordan. Leo has entered history. Those who knew Cesar have told me that he was exceptional.

"It's all been said before about Messi. He doesn't only score goals, he scores great goals; each one is better than the last. We are seeing the very best in action.

"I'm sorry for those who try to take his throne, but this kid is different, better, we are excited to have him."


Italy national team manager Cesare Prandelli hopes to have Mario Balotelli in his lineup for this summer's European championship, but it's on the mercurial striker to shape up his attitude and demeanor before he will be welcomed back to the Italian national team.

Prandelli told reporters that the Manchester City striker needs to demonstrate better judgment and an ability to stay level-headed if he is to resume playing internationally.

"In my head, Balotelli is a starter. But he still needs to show that he's got the personality and capacity to handle this pressure,'' Prandelli said. "There's a line of behavior and a certain way to handle yourself, and we shouldn't have to keep track of players' behavior."


After an eight-month work stoppage, construction has resumed on the Beira-Rio Stadium that is slated to host five matches during the 2014 World Cup.

With a new financial agreement in place, workers will get back to renovations on the venue in Porto Alegre, which is home to powerhouse club Internacional. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2013, plenty of time before the World Cup begins.


Hope that Osorio resigning doesn't affect Beasley's playing time? Is Messi as dominant (or more dominant) than Jordan? Want to see Balotelli starting for Italy? Think the Brazil World Cup will go off without a problem?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Once again, you are mistaken.

    Rodman won titles with the Pistons. Harper with the Lakers.

    Do a little research and get your facts right my friend.

    I am not denying MJ is the best of all time, just that he won a title with nobodies. That fact is flat out wrong.

  2. Dr. RLW2020,

    I am glad that you are also an endocrinologist who is capable of enlightening me. You must have done some novel research to have determined, despite every medical treatise and study ever made previously, that you are certain HGH could provide no lasting benefit for Messi*.

    Oh, wait, your argument about steroids like prednisone, used to decrease inflammation, is so totally off the mark it doesn’t really deserve comment. It’s prima facie evidence that you are not qualified to talk steroids. Please go to the Messi* kids section. Messi* took growth enhancing drug at a very important stage in growth and development and HGH does certainly produce long lasting musculo-skeletal growth. He gained a competitive advantage as a result and this is at least part of why he is great. The best you can argue is that it’s only a small part of why he is great but you can’t say it has no effect. Messi* is tainted and I am glad that most other athletes don’t take HGH at any age. There are plenty of sports that abnormally small people can be good at but Messi wanted to be good at soccer and Barca was all too happy to put him on a growth enhancing steroid regimen.

  3. Jordan carried many average players who would not be remembered at all if not for playing with Michael. Messi with Barcelona has the two best mids of this century playing next to him. Jordan never had that luxury.

  4. This is giving me carpel tunnel

    ” Agree. “I’m definitely in support of the comparison.” ”

    And one for the road:

    Agree. “I’m definitely in support of the comparison.”

  5. My apologies. Instead of “criticize”, perhaps, I should have just asked “Why?” to your last statement. If he’s clearly one of the best ever, then why wait for another set of criteria to be satisfied – especially one that doesn’t fit (national team) in a comparison of Messi and Jordan?. To me that’s kind of disputing, or at least questioning.

    No superstar has ever been super without a legitimate supporting cast – even Jordan. As good as Iniesta and Xavi make Messi look, he makes them look just as good by being in good places, making good runs into space, and finishing at a very high rate. Cart-horse, horse-cart. Then, of course, there are the times when he does do it by himself.

    My take on the original question is that it’s a fair comparison. Fortunately for us, we are witnessing greatness on a very rare level.

  6. Well — since you raise the question…. I recall reading that i was determined Barry Bonds could see a pitched ball better than anyone else in baseball, and it was suspected that this was a product of HGH use. Whether this side-benefit is long-lasting, I cannot say. However, he probably was able to see better than others while he was getting treatments, and it is possible that aided his development.

  7. Dr. Dinho,

    I am glad that you have enough knowledge of the endocrine system to rule out any life-changing impacts to use of a life-changing chemical that, in fact, promotes permanent cell growth in muscle and bone. Youtube is full of players with touch, finesse and vision, but they lack the athleticism and explosiveness that makes Messi* so dangerous in the box. He’s great, but if every 15 year old was able to take HGH there would be more greats. Since they don’t, we’ll never know, will we?

  8. Messi is no Jordan. Why? No sane person would argue Pippen over Jordan. Can anyone say the same about people arguing Xavi or Iniesta over Messi? Because I feel like I’ve seen those before.

    Also, no salary cap when Messi plays for Barcelona. Besides Real Madrid (which is a factor when they play in the same league and are 2 of the top 3 if not top 2 in team wages in world soccer) You’d start taking how many players on the team before you’d taken one of another in the league? 6? 7? Maybe more.

  9. What are you talking about??? Jordan won titles with Pippen and Horace Grant (both all stars), and then Pippen and Rodman (one of the best rebounders and defenders of all time), with other good role players around them (Bill Cartwright, Steve Kerr, Ron Harper, Toni Kukoc, etc.). Jordan did not win any titles with scrub teammates. He played a good portion of his career with scrub teammates, but no titles during those years.

  10. are you implying messi isn’t a great all around player? he is also an assist machine, especially w/ Argentina where he carries the creative duties as opposed to scoring, since he is their best creator as well.

    as for defense, yea, he may not be able to win headers in the box, but part of the reason Barcelona is so dominant is because when they lose the ball, they defend like crazy and win it back. many of messi’s goals have come as a result of him stealing the ball off an opponent and just taking it to the house. he has a good history of 50/50 challenges, especially for a little man

    he is the best ever, hands down. and will be for 10+ years. i am definitely not ruling out arguments as to why he isn’t at Jordan’s level yet, but he will most certainly have surpassed him by the end of his career, guaranteed

  11. Yes, Jordan did have Pippen who was obviously key for the Bulls and an amazing player, but Jordan would often win games by himself and he also didn’t have a strong supporting cast if you look at it individual talent wise. Barca is stacked beyond belief at most positions except defense, which is still awesome but not deep. But like I said, basketball is an easier sport to take the game in your own hands…

  12. I wasn’t criticizing him, I was giving my opinion on comparing him to Jordan. When did I ever dispute how amazing he is?

  13. The comparison to Jordan is very accurate. Both players had to run a gauntlet of players waiting to foul and were still successful champions. Where the comparison breaks down is that Jordan for many years had very poor teammates, certainly not top class, while Messi has always had the two of the top mids of this century on the field with him.

  14. that treatment had nothing to do with the player he is right now, it merely allowed him to stay alive and healthy. completely different than a baseball player using it to get stronger and play harder.

    people get subscribed HGH and other “steroid” like drugs to get over illnesses and what not all the time. He did not abuse a drug to get better at his game at all. Plus Leo never uses his strength or size to beat a player, he is all skill and mind.

  15. Messi has accomplished at 24 way more than Jordan did at that age. Barring a major injury, Messi is gonna blow Jordan out of the water with numbers of championships, “MVP” awards, etc. Messi is already scarily dominant at 24 … Jordan was not.

  16. Maybe Messi wanted to be small so he could be helpful in scavenger hunts. “I’m a little guy! Boosh, boosh, boosh!”

  17. Of course he wouldn’t be as good without Xavi or Iniesta. Who would?

    Fact of the matter is, if you’re criticizing Messi at this point, then you you are looking for reasons to do it. The guy is disgustingly good.

  18. No it didn’t…. but would Adidas commercials be decicated to his speed without it? Maybe, maybe not.

    I’ve always been surprised how this is overlooked for Messi. It’s always “oh, he had a growth problem”….. meaning he was going to be a very small guy. Sadly, being very small wasn’t going to work as well as being a slightly smaller than average guy.

    He is great regardless.

  19. The Messi to Jordan comparison is pretty fair, but it’s important to point out that Jordan’s legend is based not only on being a great scorer (or, the greatest scorer) but also on being a great all-around player (or, the greatest all-around player). Also, Jordan was fiercely competitive. Ruthless, even. Therefore, Jordan is measured most by championships (and by having prevented a generation of very good players from winning NBA championship rings). Messi needs to keep winning to match Jordan. I’m definitely in support of the comparison.

    I’ve seen Messi do both of Maradona’s most famous goals. Now, if he nails a last-second jumper over Byron Russell, I’ll know it’s a legit comparison.

  20. Really? That HGH made him have the unbelievable touch, finesse and vision that he possesses? Sorry buddy, but that is not the reason for his dominance.

  21. I agree with you 100%. I grew up in Chicago watching almost every game Jordan played and he’s that rare individual who could beat you by himself. Even when they lost teams were still sweating afterwards. 63 pts against the Celtics coming off a Broken Foot? Who in the hell does that to a team featuring Bird, McHale, Dennis Johnson et al?
    Messi may get to that level but he’s not there yet, he’s in the territory but when he can win without Xavi then this conversation can take place.

  22. You are definitely partially right, he has an amazing team with great chemstry. But then again he has done really good things for Argeninta U-20 world championship, Olympic Championship.

    Argentina is like a team that isn’t more than the sum of their parts, or even the sum of their parts, they are like loaded with talent and yet all their stars- not just Messi- struggle to live up.

    He scored and assisted in every game leading up to the 2007 Copa America final where they lost to Brazil.

    He’s always contributed- but he isn’t going to single-handedly win over Germany (2010 WC) or Brazil (2007 Copa America).

    Maradona, Cryuff, Beckenbaur, Zidane, especially Pele weren’t playing with nobodies on their national teams. The other Argentina NT players need to pick it up.

  23. KBone I think you’re forgetting that Jordan played with Pippen who is not only a HOF’er but also one of the NBA 50 greatest of all time. So to say that Jordan did it on his own is a disservice to one of the best. Messi has done quite a lot to be compared to MJ…this coming from a Chicagoan and a FC Barca supporter.

  24. Well he hasn’t really coached many games has he? I have 154 games via Wikipedia. Jason Kreis has been around as long and has like over 300.

  25. I think when Messi is without Xavi and eventually Iniesta, and he continues to score goals at will, then he can be compared to Jordan. Jordan single-handled won games and titles for the Bulls (which is easier in basketball of course), but Messi does not dominate for Argentina. Clearly Messi is one of the best ever, but we should wait to see if he’s just as amazing without two of the best midfielders of all time passing to him as well…

  26. Osorio does it again. This is how he does it.
    1. Hype about how great he is as a manager.
    2. Resigns / leaves
    3. Return to Colombia
    4. Leave Colombia for (fill blank)
    Did I miss a step in the Osorio process? If so, add to my list. I just don’t get it. He’s never been a good manager but continues to get hired.
    I just don’t get it.


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