As one head coaching position in MLS is filled, another position opens up as FC Dallas acquired Oscar Pareja from the Colorado Rapids for a 2015 first-round pick in the Superdraft and allocation money.
This is not the first time that has happened in the American major sports leagues; back in 2002 the Oakland Raiders traded head coach Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for four draft picks and $8 million. Gruden would lead the Buccaneers to their only Super Bowl win in his first season with a win over none other than the Raiders.
With the current playoff structure, there is no way that Pareja would be able to match that feat by Gruden. The question becomes: in Pareja’s eyes, what does Dallas have that Colorado doesn’t?
Pareja is leaving behind the club that he built into a contender over the last two seasons with a solid nucleus of young talent in all aspects of the field. Clint Irwin is in goal and he has made 32 league appearances in his first year with the club. Their outstanding left-back, Chris Klute earned his first call-up into the US Men’s National Team January camp after having a very solid season. In the midfield they have 22-year-old defensive mid and 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year, Dillon Powers. Up front they have Jamaican sensation Deshorn Brown who tallied ten goals for the Rapids.
Dallas has history with Pareja; he ended his playing career with Dallas before joining the coaching staff under then-manager Colin Clarke.
One of the first tasks that Pareja will need to complete is figuring out the future of the Dallas attack. They do have Blas Perez and Eric Hassli up front, but with both players at 32 years old, the need for some youth at the striker position will be key. Dallas is solid defensively with Matt Hedges and George John anchoring the back-line and Peruvian keeper Raul Fernandez between the posts.