I’ve got good news and got bad news, and it depends on who you are. If you’re a FC Dallas fan, it’s good news, they finally got their man as they were able to secure Oscar Pareja as their new manager. But if you’re fan of the Colorado Rapids, then I’m sorry to say that you are without a coach less than a week away from the SuperDraft, however, you do get a 2015 first round pick out of all of this.
Let’s cover the good news first. The hiring of Pareja, the 45-year-old former FC Dallas player, has been rumored for quite awhile, and now that the deal’s done, the ownership in Dallas can rest easy. This is a really late coaching hire. Had it fallen through, FC Dallas would have been in a really deep hole, but instead they dug themselves out and kicked the Rapids in instead.
Dallas replaced former coach Schellas Hyndman, who had coached the team for the previous six seasons, and stepped down at the end of 2013. This job belonged to Pareja before the offseason began. The last eight years of his playing career were played with FC Dallas, he became an assistant coach with the same team soon after. Countless times it has been remarked that Pareja was to inherit Hyndman’s job, basically being groomed for the position. It took too long for Hyndman to finish his career, so Pareja decided to move on and become the head coach of Colorado in 2012.
Since then Pareja went 25-30-13 in two seasons. Last year, Pareja was named a finalist for MLS Coach of the Year, as the Rapids finished fifth in the Western Conference. Also of note, Pareja drafted Deshorn Brown and Dillon Powers in 2013, two very talented young players, Powers winning Rookie of the Year, Brown coming in second.
“With a youthful squad that is primed to succeed for several years down the line, this is an attractive coaching job with a solid structure already in place,” said Rapids President Tim Hinchey in a team statement. “We want to credit Oscar for his role in helping develop our team in the last two years, and we wish him and his family the best in Dallas.”
I don’t really blame Pareja for wanting to change teams. Dallas where he calls home. His family loves it there, he loves it there. Why wouldn’t you take the job in a place where you know you’ll be happy?
Unfortunately, Colorado will now be searching for a new coach on short notice. What makes matters worse is that former Rapids assistant coach Wilmer Cabrera became head coach of Chivas USA just this week. They now hold the honor of being the final team without a coach for 2014, although they’ve been looking for the shortest period of time.
There is a silver lining to the whole situation though, as the Rapids will get allocation money and FC Dallas’ first round selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. Remember, the earliest the pick can be will be third overall, as New York City FC and Orlando City SC will be picking first and second, as it is both of their first season in MLS.