The coaching changes keep coming in MLS as it was reported by Ives Galarcep of Goal.com that Oscar Pareja is stepping down as manager of the Colorado Rapids. This is coming off further reports that FC Dallas are looking to poach his services.
According to sources, the Rapids have already zeroed in two leading candidates. New York Red Bulls assistant coach and former Rapids player Robin Fraser, and former Portland Timbers head coach and former Rapids player John Spencer are the front-runners for the vacant position, with Fraser looking like the favorite at the moment.
Pareja’s departure from Colorado ends a messy situation that came about after FC Dallas made a play for the former Dallas player and assistant coach. FC Dallas balked on paying a sizable buyout fee to hire Pareja, but when Colorado failed to counter with a new contract for Pareja, the Colombian-born boss soured on Colorado.
The odds are that Fraser will be the next manager of the Rapids. Fraser has had managerial experience, having been manager of Chivas USA from 2011-12. However, no one should count out John Spencer and his work with starting up the Portland Timbers’ MLS ambitions. It will most likely come down to either of those two candidates.
Meanwhile, Colorado Rapids players Chris Klute and Shane O’Neill have been called up to the USA Men’s National Team ahead of camp from Jan. 6 through Feb. 1 in Carson, Calif. and Sao Paulo, Brazil, culminating with a match against Korea Republic.
“This is a wonderful achievement for both Chris and Shane, who had great 2013 seasons for our club,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo. “As a Homegrown Player, Shane’s selection to this camp is significant for everyone at the Rapids and throughout soccer in Colorado, and Chris has already developed into one of the league’s premier outside backs at a young age. We’re happy for them and hope this experience helps them keep growing as players.”
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – JANUARY TRAINING CAMP IN CALIFORNIA/BRAZIL
GOALKEEPERS (4): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (10): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC) Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids), Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4): Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
When asked of the call-up, O’Neill was excited to have his opportunity to stand and deliver.
“I can’t lie and say it hasn’t crossed my mind (making the World Cup squad),” O’Neill told ColoradoRapids.com’s Richard Fleming. “Hopefully, if I go there and do well, who knows what can happen. It’s a long road, and it’s an extremely tough squad to break in to, the top US team, but I think that if I go there and do what I know I can do, then I don’t think that it’s beyond the realms of possibility.
“I’ve been called in for a reason. I’ve gotten a few weeks under my belt at Fulham, so I’m going there in pretty good form, so honestly I’m going to go there with an open mind and see what I can do but I definitely think that if I can make an impression then there’s always a chance.”