By Will Martin
The announcement was made on January 10th after what was promised by Vice President Dan Hunt as “an extensive search” for the right coach for the job.
A man with ties to the Dallas community, Oscar Pareja (one time fan favorite and standout player) returns to FC Dallas as the club’s sixth head coach in their history.
“We are thrilled to welcome Oscar back to FC Dallas as head coach,” FC Dallas Chairman Clark Hunt said. “In addition to his stellar career as a player in our league, Oscar has an outstanding track record of success as a coach at every level of MLS. After an extensive search process, we concluded that Oscar’s experience, teaching ability, personal integrity and passion for our club make him the ideal choice to lead FC Dallas in 2014 and beyond.”
An eight year career that began with the Dallas Burn in 1998 until 2005. A career that tallied 13 goals and 47 assists before moving on to coach and work alongside Columbian teammate Wilmer Cabrera with the US U-17 Men’s National Team.
“I spent 14 years in Dallas and both the club and the Hunt family hold a special place in my heart,” said Pareja. “While I am forever grateful to the Colorado Rapids for giving me my first head coaching job in MLS, my family and I have decided to take this opportunity to get back home to Texas. I believe we can build something really special in Dallas, and I am thankful for the opportunity, and thankful to the organization, its fans and ownership for believing in me.”
Prior to his return to Texas he spent the last two seasons resurrecting a Colorado Rapids team that went 25-30-13. Last year Oscar Pareja was in the midst of discussions at the mention of Coach of the Year with a Rapid return to the MLS playoffs.
“We couldn’t be happier to be bringing Oscar home to Dallas,” said Dan Hunt, vice president of Hunt Sports Group. “Oscar has been part of our FC Dallas family for more than 10 years and helped shape our youth development and academy programs into what they are today. We couldn’t imagine a better fit for our professional team and our goal of building a championship club.”
Before making his journey into the MLS in 1998 Pareja would play in 385 games for Independiente Medellin and Deportivo Cali. His MLS time came to 183 games in New England and Dallas. As compensation for Oscar Pareja coming to FC Dallas the Colorado Rapids will receive a first round 2015 MLS SuperDraft pick (the second of two belonging to Dallas) and allocation money.
March 8th the 2014 season for FC Dallas shall commence at home against Montreal. One of the newer acquisitions was #6 pick of the 2014 Super Draft at the Philadelphia Convention Center. From the Colorado School of Mines FC Dallas drafted Tesho Akindele, a kid who got a lot of buzz on Twitter when the pick was announced on January 16th. It looks like FC Dallas got some allocation money in making a trade with Montreal before this draft was announced.
New season, new faces, can’t wait for it all to begin again for FC Dallas.