FC Dallas announced on Sunday that 38-year-old Luchi Gonzalez, the second-youngest head coach in MLS, has been chosen to replace the recently departed Oscar Pareja as head coach.
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Gonzalez, who was seen as the favorite to succeed Pareja since the day the job came open, has been director of the FCD academy, and head coach of the program’s hugely successful U-16 team, for the last three years. Prior to that, he served as a coach on the academy’s U-18 staff.
Pareja recently resigned from his post at FCD as he sought a new challenge. He was named the new boss at Liga MX side Club Tijuana last month.
Given Gonzalez’s appointment, and his intimate knowledge of an academy system bursting at the seams with elite prospects — not to mention the payroll which FCD has managed to shed already this offseason — it seems likely that the 2019 team skew extremely young. While Pareja was always painted as a champion of academy products, an uncomfortably large number of graduates were unable to establish themselves as members of the first team during his tenure.
FC Dallas teen Chris Richards’ loan to Bayern Munich is going very well.
The 18-year-old American center back has impressed the Bundesliga giants and is set for a $1.25 million move overseas, according to Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep.
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Richards has made 19 appearances in the Bayern system, including five in the UEFA Youth League, and has two goals and an assist.
The Alabama-born Homegrown defender would be the second FC Dallas prospect to move abroad, joining Weston McKennie.
After nearly two decades of service to the club (in a variety of roles, from player to head coach), Oscar Pareja has officially left his post as FC Dallas’ leading man.
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The club confirmed Pareja’s departure on Monday, just days after it was reported that Pareja would be named the next manager at Liga MX side Club Tijuana, that FCD and Pareja “have mutually agreed to part ways.”
Pareja had the following to say in the club’s official release:
“This was a difficult decision for me and my family. 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 was once thought to be one of a handful of candidates for the still-vacant U.S. men’s national team job, but Columbus Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter is expected to be begin his tenure any
minute hour day week month now.
One way or another, Oscar Pareja is leaving MLS this winter, swapping FC Dallas for Liga MX side Club Tijuana, according to a report from Goal.com.
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Pareja was thought to be on the short list of candidates up for consideration to become the next U.S. men’s national team head coach — if you believe such a list ever existed — but that post is now widely expected to be handed to Columbus Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter in the coming hours, days or weeks.
Therefore, Pareja’s taking the next great opportunity to make a step up in competition and exposure after a combined 18 years with FCD — 10 as an academy director, assistant coach and head coach, and eight as a player. The fact that Pareja — born in Medellin, Colombia, but has lived in the United States for two decades — is fluent in both Spanish and English surely played an important part in the hiring process for Tijuana, who more so than any other Mexican club has prioritized growing its footprint among English speakers in the U.S.
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Pareja will reportedly take much of his first-team coaching staff with him.
Moving from MLS to any of Liga MX’s top-half teams is very clearly a considerable step up for a coach — or player, for that matter. If it’s a new, bigger challenge he’s looking for — and he’s deserving of one — Pareja will get just that at Xolos.
Diego Valeri scored twice, the second when Portland was down to 10 men, as the Timbers won their first match of the MLS Cup Playoffs with a 2-1 defeat of FC Dallas in Texas on Wednesday.
Larrys Mabiala was shown a red card in the 58th minute for the Timbers, and Matt Hedges scored in stoppage time for the hosts’ lone goal.
For Valeri, the goals were his third and fourth in MLS Cup Playoff action, and his 76th and 77th as a Timber.
Portland will face Sporting KC if LAFC beats Real Salt Lake on Thursday, or Seattle if Real wins.
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Reto Ziegler looked to have pushed Dallas in front, but the 15th minute goal was overturned by VAR for offside.
Valeri’s goal couldn’t be overturned, though perhaps the refs would’ve liked to sneak a look at the replay just for entertainment’s sake.
The match headed to half 1-0, with Diego Chara and Carlos Gruezo shown yellow cards for a scuffle before the break.
That was a prelude to a straight red 13 minutes into the second half, albeit not one for brawling. Mabiala was shown off as last man back for a takedown of Dominique Badji.
Portland would have to make it a half-hour plus with a one-goal lead and 10 men on the pitch, and they would thanks to hard work from Jeremy Ebobisse to set up Valeri for his second.