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Why those Oscar Pareja-FC Dallas rumors will not go away

Nov 4, 2013, 4:02 PM EDT

Colorado Rapids v New York Red Bulls Getty Images

No one wasted any time after Colorado’s elimination late last week in linking manager Oscar Pareja, architect of the exciting remodel job at DSG Park, to the vacant position at FC Dallas.

As of late last week, the Denver-based club had not received any requests to speak with Pareja. That’s according to this piece at MLSSoccer.com. Obviously, that would be FCD’s first step in such a move, as with any manager under contract.

Still, members of the MLS coaching circles that I talked to over the weekend seem convinced that Dallas will reach out, somehow, through front channels or back channels or in-between channels – whatever those are? – to gauge the Colombian’s interest.

Why would Pareja consider such a move? He does, after all, have a great thing going in Colorado. The working relationship with Rapids’ technical director Paul Bravo seems strong, and that’s a big plus for any manager. And Pareja, whose apparent forte is cultivating young talent – he was a former under-17 U.S. national team assistant and was FC Dallas’ academy director before taking the Rapids top managerial position – has a jaw-dropping stable of impressive young talent in Colorado.

But he does have those Texas connections, having arrived as a player in North Texas in 1998. When he took the position in Colorado 22 months ago, Pareja had initially only leased out his house in the Dallas area (although he may have sold since).

But the real binding element here is Pareja’s close relationship with Dan Hunt, the younger of the Hunt sons (sons of pioneering soccer legend Lamar Hunt, that is) in the soccer business. Whereas Clark Hunt once made most of the big decisions around then-named Pizza Hut Park, Dan has become increasingly involved in the day-to-day operations over the last year or so.

When legal trouble forced team president Doug Quinn to resign earlier this year, Dan Hunt more or less stepped into the role.

Relationship in the business mean everything. And that’s why this one will not soon go away – not until we hear from Pareja, at least.

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  1. mlsconvert88888 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    I’m not saying that the Dallas job would be bad for Oscar, and it may be the position that makes him personally happy, but he’s building something good in Colorado and I’d like to see him stick with it.

    • sfrunning - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:27 PM

      Reason to stay: Watch the young Rapids players he brought in prove he was really right about them, and his further coaching got them success. That would seem the main attraction, other than Colorado is a lot nicer place (cooler, mountains, altitude), and their little sometimes snow-infested stadium is a peach. Obviously, it’s his call, but if it was me, seeing the kids succeed in Denver would be an almost irresistible reason to stay.

  2. overtherepermanently - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Unless there are strong personal reasons to go to Dallas, it doesn’t really look like a step up. They don’t spend dramatically more than Colorado. They have the same bad stadium situation, and their roster is far weaker.

  3. bazimon - Nov 5, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    The only stadium issue FCD have is average attendance of 15k in a venue that seats over 20k. Winning solves that….and the Hunt family wants to win..

    • chadmoon1 - Nov 5, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      If the Hunts wanted to win so badly, Schellas would not have been at the helm this past year. Oscar could have been the coach of the team 2 years ago when he was here heading up the Academy and the team was nose-diving.

  4. bazimon - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Just because the Hunts made the mistake of being too loyal does not mean they don’t want to win. That’s ridiculous. If rolling in championship were easy, everybody would be doing it. It takes good decision making and some luck. Just because that didn’t pan out doesn’t mean they don’t want to win.

  5. godsholytrousers - Nov 5, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    The only attractive quality that Dallas has is their insanely good youth academy, and that would be a big draw for any manager. On the other hand, the stadium is in Oklahoma, and there is no “hip” factor in coaching FCD. The budget doesn’t support building a power, but there is that academy, and there is plenty of academy talent.

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