After five seasons as head coach, Oscar Pareja and FC Dallas have mutually agreed to part ways, the club announced Monday. FCD will immediately begin a search for his replacement.
Pareja, 50, won a Supporters' Shield and U.S. Open Cup double in 2016 and posted consecutive 60-point seasons in 2015 and 2016. In all, he made the playoffs in four out of his five seasons in charge of FCD since taking over the team ahead of the 2014 season, following two years in charge of the Colorado Rapids. He also helped curate one of the league's leading pipelines from the academy to the first team.
This season, FCD finished fourth in the Western Conference and were eliminated at home in the Knockout Round by the Portland Timbers. His overall regular-season record with the club was 78W-49L-43D.
“This was a difficult decision for everyone involved, but after extensive discussions over the last few weeks, we believe the best course of action is for Oscar to pursue another opportunity,” said FC Dallas Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt in a media release. “Dan and I have tremendous respect and admiration for Oscar as a coach and as a person, and we sincerely appreciate his significant contributions to the club over the years. He will always be an important part of our FC Dallas family.”
Pareja spent the final eight seasons of his playing career with FC Dallas, making 176 MLS appearances for the club from 1998-2005. Upon retiring, he became an FCD assistant coach. He later became Director of Player Development then was named the U-18 Academy Coach of the Year in 2010-11.
“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,” Pareja said. “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.”
Goal.com's Ives Galarcep first reported the news Saturday, also reporting that he will be Club Tijuana's next head coach. If he does join Club Tijuana, he would reunite with former FCD winger Fabian Castillo, as well as former MLS players Erick "Cubo" Torres and Miller Bolaños. The club will finish the current 2018 Apertura season well out of the playoff places in Liga MX.
Pareja is the eighth MLS head coach to leave their post in 2018. Jesse Marsch left the New York Red Bulls midseason to become an assistant coach at German club RB Leipzig and NYCFC boss Patrick Vieira also departed midseason to become the manager at French club Nice. Atlanta United head coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino will depart his club after the season and is heavily rumored to be the next Mexico national team manager. Orlando City SC dismissed Jason Kreis; LA Galaxy and Sigi Schmid parted ways; the San Jose Earthquakes dismissed Mikael Stahre and the Vancouver Whitecaps moved on from Carl Robinson.