Óscar Pareja appeared in 170 MLS matches for Dallas before spending 2005-11 as an assistant coach with the club. His work in Texas propelled him forward in his coaching career when he was hired as head coach of Colorado in 2012, and now he’s stepped down as boss of the Rapids in a surprise move just two weeks before the MLS SuperDraft.
In two years with Colorado, Pareja went 24W-12D-32L but helped a turnaround in 2013 that saw the Rapids back into the postseason behind youngsters Deshorn Brown (10 goals, 4 assists) and Dillon Powers (5 goals, 5 assists). He’s also watched over Chris Klute and Shane O’Neill on their paths to the USMNT camp.
Pareja has long been speculated to be the replacement for Schellas Hyndman in Dallas, but has a clause in his contract that keeps him from becoming a head coach elsewhere for one year (barring an arrangement with Colorado). The Rapids had initially denied a request from FC Dallas to speak with Pareja regarding their opening, and it’s unclear whether any agreement’s been made that would allow the Colombian to return to Texas.
John Spencer and Robin Fraser are considered prime candidates to replace Pareja, according to a Goal.com report.