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Óscar Pareja leaves FC Dallas after 5 seasons as head coach

Mar 24, 2018; Frisco, TX, USA; FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja during the game against the Portland Timbers at Toyota Stadium. The game ends in a 1-1 draw. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas and head coach Oscar Pareja have agreed to part ways after five seasons, the club announced Monday.

“This was a difficult decision for everyone involved, but after extensive discussions over the last few weeks, we believe the best course of action is for Oscar to pursue another opportunity,” FC Dallas Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement released by the club. “Dan and I have tremendous respect and admiration for Oscar as a coach and as a person, and we sincerely appreciate his significant contributions to the club over the years. He will always be an important part of our FC Dallas family.”

This comes after Goal.com reported the 50-year-old Colombian coach is set to be hired by Liga MX team Club Tijuana.

Pareja has spent the last five seasons with Dallas, leading the team to four playoff appearances, a Supporter’s Shield and a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup trophy during his tenure. Dallas finished the 2018 regular season fourth in the Western Conference with a 16-9-9 record. The team lost to Portland Timbers in the Knockout Round of the playoffs.

“This was a difficult decision for me and my family,” Pareja said in a press release. “FC Dallas has been our home for many years, but we felt it would be best for us to seek a different challenge which enables me to keep growing as a coach. This club and its players are heading on the right path and I have no doubt they will get there. I would like to thank the Hunt family, Clark and Dan, for their support throughout my time here. The memories I have made with this club will stay with me and my family for a lifetime.”

Pareja spent seven years with FC Dallas as a player from 1998-2005 before becoming part of the coaching staff. The coach returned to Dallas after a stint with the Colorado Rapids from 2012-2014. 

The team achieved 60 points in 2015 and 2016, becoming a threat in the Western Conference without a big payroll. Dallas is one of the two teams in MLS that does not have a millionaire on its roster. The team relied on South American talent and its academy system to produce players on the pitch. Pareja, who was FCD’s academy director from 2008 to 2012, helped spearhead that effort. Pareja’s side was the first team to start five homegrowns in a match when it defeated the Columbus Crew 3-0 in 2015.

“Oscar represents so much of what we stand for at FC Dallas,” said FC Dallas President Dan Hunt. “Our fans will always remember his enthusiasm, passion and indelible influence on the organization that resulted in remarkable success.”

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