The Colorado Rapids seem determined to keep manager Oscar Pareja – and they are willing to fight hard in doing so.
Rapids president Tim Hinchey revealed Thursday that he declined permission for another MLS club – almost certainly FC Dallas – to speak with Pareja, who led one of the league’s youngest, least expensive teams into the playoffs this year, overcoming a myriad of injuries to key figures early in the season.
Pareja just finished his second full year at Dicks Sporting Goods Park. Here’s what Hinchey said:
I think the easiest thing to put this to bed is, regardless of anyone who has called or will call, they’re going to get the same answer, which will be denied permission to speak to our coach. And that’s not going to change.”
“Our coach wants to stay here. He’s our coach and he’ll be here, and we’re excited about it.”
One of two things happened here.
Either Pareja was consulted and told the team he wanted to stay – so the team leaders played the heavies and ran interference. Even considering Pareja’s history in Dallas and his close relationship with FCD owner Dan Hunt, it’s not so far-fetched that he would prefer to remain in Denver.
Considering all the young talent there, Pareja may look at the situation and assess that he has something special going, and that he wants to see it through. In that case, it’s all good for all parties.
If Pareja has any interest at all in exploring his options (or this one in particular), then the Rapids are playing a dangerous game. On the one hand, Pareja has a contract. On the other hand, it does nobody any good to create ill will and hard feelings, or any inkling of disrespect. We’ll know more about this one going forward.