Report: Oscar Pareja interview with US Soccer did not take place

UPDATE (Tuesday, 11:00 am): Oscar Pareja also denied any interview with U.S. Soccer officials, though acknowledged he'd like the job, as reported by Dallas-based ESPN reporter Carlos Nava:

UPDATE (Monday, 9:30 pm): Doug McIntyre of Yahoo Sports reported on Monday night that Pareja and U.S. Soccer did not meet, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.


Twin reports in the Dallas Morning News and its Spanish-language arm Al Dia claim that FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja has been added to the list of candidates for the U.S. men’s national team’s vacant coaching post, and that the Colombian was interviewed by U.S. Soccer personnel in Vancouver while FCD were in town for their 2-1 win over the Whitecaps on Sunday.

The reports also included quotes from in-depth conversations with Pareja and his staff about the prospects of running the national team which occurred before the news of his candidacy, wherein they express enthusiasm about the task of rebuilding a program fallen on hard times with its failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

"For us, that'd be a project we've been striving for so hard, to keep contributing to this country from our chairs to the best of our capabilities. And for that level, that'd be putting ourselves in a privileged position to make things happen instead of watching from the sidelines," Pareja told reporters Silviana Pagliuca and Walter Reinaldo Roque.

"I think the national team is in need of renovation. But I think it must get revamped under coaches who are knowledgeable of the system," he added. "I'm convinced the national team needs a coach who knows the culture and the American player. Whoever is chosen, he must know the roots and the history of the North American soccer.

"The American player is disciplined, he's intense, physical, he's generous and he's like society; he loves verticality. You can't get American players make 25 passes before reaching the middle of the field. They don't like that because they don't experience it that way."

One of the most successful coaches in Major League Soccer over the past five-plus years, Pareja has led Dallas to the 2016 Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup titles and MLS Cup Playoffs qualification in three of his four full seasons in charge to date. The North Texans are also on course for another postseason run in 2018, sitting in first place in the Western Conference standings with a 15-6-8 record to date.

When reached by MLSsoccer.com for comment on the report, FC Dallas president Dan Hunt said via a team spokesperson, "The entire FC Dallas organization, including Oscar Pareja and his coaching staff, is solely focused on finishing the MLS regular season strong and putting us in the best position possible for a long playoff run."

Pareja and most of his staff have rich backgrounds in youth coaching in addition to their work at the professional level. He led FCD’s academy for several years, helping build it into one of the best in the United States, before leaving to coach the Colorado Rapids senior team for two seasons (2012-13).

"For us, it'd be very cool being able to be in the national team. We went though every division, from 11-year-olds to professional level. It would be the final touch being considered and the best that could happen to us," said FCD assistant Jose Maria Bazan.

"I think we can infuse it with the element of being familiar with the lower leagues, those kids who we saw grow up knowing their strengths and weaknesses, knowing where to push them. Our success could depend on our knowledge of the individual, the American soccer player … We have a structure, an order, a methodology we applied to our development."

Read the English version of the full report here, and the Spanish edition here.