FC Dallas sign head coach Oscar Pareja to long-term contract extension

FC Dallas have signed 2016 MLS Coach of the Year Oscar Pareja to a “long-term” contract extension, the club announced on Thursday. Per team policy, specific terms of the contract will not be announced.

An FC Dallas midfielder from 1998-2005, Pareja, 48, took over as FCD head coach ahead of the 2014 season. He’s led Dallas to the playoffs in all three of his seasons in charge, winning the Supporters’ Shield and US Open Cup double in 2016, tying with the New York Red Bulls for the best MLS regular season record in 2015 and finishing in fourth in the West with a 16-12-6 record in 2014.

Under Pareja, FC Dallas became the first team in MLS history to record back-to-back 60 point campaigns in 2015 and 2016.

“We are excited to ensure Oscar will be our head coach for many years to come,” FC Dallas chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement released by the club. “As a manager and a developer of talent, Oscar has proven himself to be among the elite in our sport, and we look forward to even greater success under his leadership in the future.”

Pareja and FCD are currently in Mexico preparing for the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series against Pachuca on Tuesday. FCD won the first leg 2-1, and are looking to become just the third team in MLS history to advance to the CCL final.

Prior to taking the Dallas job, Pareja spent two years as head coach of the Colorado Rapids, leading the team to a surprising playoff berth in 2013. He moved to Denver after leading FCD’s highly-regarded academy from 2008-2011, where he helped develop current FC Dallas and US national team midfielder Kellyn Acosta and FCD Homegrown players Victor Ulloa and Jesse Gonzalez, among others.

A former Colombian national team midfielder, Pareja spent 11 years playing in his home country before joining the New England Revolution in 1998. He was traded later that year to Dallas, where he went on to make 176 regular season appearances in seven-plus seasons.

He has a 53-30-22 regular season record in his three years with FCD and a 76-60-34 mark in five years as a MLS head coach. His best playoff finish came in 2015, when Dallas advanced to the Western Conference Championship series.

“On behalf of my family and the people who work with me, I would like to extend my gratitude to Clark and Dan Hunt and the entire FC Dallas family for having the confidence and belief in us. Our ultimate goal is to continue developing the model, with a commitment to young players, that makes FC Dallas so successful,” Pareja said. “We’re extremely happy here. I feel blessed to continue working here for many more years to come.”