Pareja pleased to play supporting role
FCdallas.net had the opportunity to sit down with Oscar Pareja to ask him about his return to Dallas, his thoughts on this year's squad and his ideas on what he will do when he retires.
FCdallas.net: What are your thoughts on returning to play with Dallas for the seventh consecutive season?
Oscar Pareja: "I'm really happy to come back here. I was looking forward to playing at least one more year and I wanted to play that year in Dallas. I'm comfortable with the city, but the most important thing to me is doing what we can to get a championship here. I'm excited to finish my career here with FC Dallas."
FCdallas.net: There was some talk of you returning to play in your native country of Colombia. What made you decide on staying in Dallas to play with FC Dallas next season?
OP: "There was a team down there that wanted me to play with them next year, but I really like it here in Dallas. I look at this as my last chance to get a championship and that is my main objective for this season. I want to win here and I want to live in this country as a champion."
FCdallas.net: What do you think your role will consist of with the team next year?
OP: "I talked a lot about my role with both Colin (Clarke) and Greg (Elliott) before I left for Colombia. It will probably be a more supportive role for me this year. I want to have a great preseason with the team and then go from there. I want to be a great back-up for the positions they want me to back-up in and if I am on the field I will give my 100 percent as always. Whether on the bench or on the field, I just want to be useful and helpful to this team."
FCdallas.net: You have been around this team longer then anybody currently on the roster. What do you like about this team and how do you think FC Dallas will do in 2005?
OP: "I think we have a really good group heading into training camp. We have some really good, young, talented players on this team. I also think the front office and the coaching staff are first class and are doing a very good job of getting us prepared for the year. All of those things combined make me very excited to be here and be part of the FC Dallas soccer club. For the objective that we have in 2005, it's very simple, just go get a championship."
FCdallas.net: Some would say that you would be an outstanding coach when your playing career is over. Have you had any thoughts about what you might want to do when you retire?
OP: "I have thought about this during my downtime and I feel like I have a lot of information that I can give to the youth. I try to do my best to learn from the defensive coaches when I'm playing and I want to pass my knowledge on to youth leagues, minor league or anybody else that I can pass it along to. I also try to help my fellow professional players to be better players and get ready for the competition that lies ahead."