Pareja on US youth development: I want Americans to believe in their talent

Oscar Pareja looks into space - FC Dallas

FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja has developed a reputation in the US as a youth development guru.

From playing in the league himself to leading FC Dallas' academy, before becoming a head coach in Colorado and then taking the same position in Dallas, Pareja has been hands on in various levels of youth development.

He's also put his money where his mouth is, not only bringing through the "Rapkids" era by playing a core group of young pros in Colorado in his time there, but regularly giving playing time to young players in Dallas, including several Homegrown players.

And in an interview on SiriusXM's "United States of Soccer" show on Monday, Pareja expressed his wish that his own belief in the ability of American players be replicated all over the country.

"I would like Americans to believe in their talent," Pareja said. "I would like the American people to understand that they're very good and they will be very good in international competition around the world. But that needs to be spread out around the country, that is large. And someday we will see a national team competing in World Cups in a high, high, high level.

"So it needs to be starting in the clubs. Hopefully FC Dallas, not just the way we play and the way we provide opportunities for the kids but the way we win as well, tell the people in America this is the way to do it."

When show host Jason Davis asked Pareja if he thought mandates or quotas to require young or Homegrown players a certain amount of first-team playing time to encourage development was a good idea in MLS, the Colombian said he preferred "that to be organic."

"I don't think it needs to be forced," Pareja responded. "I think it needs to be through the conviction of the people who handle the directions of the clubs. That's more natural and better. We like to see people providing opportunities to the youngsters, not just because they have to do it, but because they believe in the talent in the American team, and the kids that grow up in our backyards."

FC Dallas currently lead the MLS Supporters' Shield standings and will also host the 2016 U.S. Open Cup final next week, looking to win their first major trophy since 1997.