Oscar Pareja is only in his fourth season coaching FC Dallas, but already the revered former-Dallas Burn and FCD player has left quite a mark in Frisco.
Many fans point last year when FCD won the MLS Supporter’s Shield and the team finished the season with the best regular-season record. In 2016, FC Dallas also captured the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup title for just the second time in franchise history.
Dallas also was a favorite to win MLS Cup as the league champion in the playoffs – another franchise-first. But when a season-ending injury to dynamic attacking midfielder Mauro Diaz impacted them adversely, it played a big role in their elimination from the ’16 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Pareja, 48, helped build the FCD development academy into the best in MLS before departing to coach the Colorado Rapids for two seasons. Yet prior to the 2014 season, he returned to the organization he loves and where he is in turn revered.
The Colombian-born coach is not only immensely popular among FCD fans, but his players also adore him because he puts them in every position to make the most of their abilities and succeed. The always-optimistic Pareja’s faith in his team never wavers. He and his coaching staff keep striving for improvements and raising the bar every day in practice and in games.
So, when FCD announced in late March 2017 that the organization and Pareja had agreed to a long-term contract extension that would keep “Papi” in Frisco for the near future, all parties involved (fans, players, and ownership), were absolutely over the moon.
We’re excited to ensure Oscar will be our head coach for many years to come,” FC Dallas Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a club-issued press release. “As a manager and a developer of talent, Oscar has proven himself to be among the elite in our sport, and we look forward to even greater success under his leadership in the future.”
FCD has already accomplished so much under Pareja’s adept tutelage, but there are still items on the club’s to-do list which remain unchecked:
- Winning an MLS Cup
- Capturing a CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) championship
Much like last season, Dallas is again considered a top pick to win MLS Cup, and maybe this will be the year that they finish the season as the last man standing.
As for the CCL, FCD advanced to the semifinals in the 2016-17 event before being eliminated by CF Pachuca of Mexico in April. But, Dallas will play in the 2017-18 international tournament starting late this summer.
So, FC Dallas fans were understandably pleased to see their beloved head coach, Oscar Pareja, who has taken their club to a new level, received a well-deserved contract extension earlier this year. Now, the only question isn’t WHEN FCD will win more trophies, it’s a matter of HOW MANY and WHICH ONES. Either way, having to find room in your trophy case or maybe even having to buy a new one, is a problem most teams in any sport would love to have, isn’t it?