Some news that really shouldn't surprise too many folks that follow FC Dallas closely when it comes to it's youth development. Today, the club named Oscar Pareja head coach of the reserve squad, linking the professional team with the Academy that Pareja has overseen for the last couple years.
Pareja will continue in his role as director of player development for the FC Dallas Academy. With MLS rosters expanding to 30 players this season and the addition of an MLS Reserve League, Pareja will coach the reserve squad, becoming an extension of Schellas Hyndman's staff.
Under Pareja, he has helped the growth of the FC Dallas academy squad. Thanks to him, the club has signed six players to Home Grown contracts (Bryan Leyva, Ruben Luna, Moises Hernandez, Victor Ulloa, Jonathan Top and Richard Sanchez), two more than any other club in Major League Soccer.
(Read on for quotes)
"I thought it was a great idea to start bridging the academy to the professional team," said Pareja. "There was a gap between the elite youth, development academy and professional teams, and I think getting that gap covered is a great idea for the future of FC Dallas players and the club."
"We needed the Reserve League, not only for young developing players, but also for some older players who weren’t getting enough minutes each week," said Pareja. "The Reserve League returning gives both young pros out of college and home grown players the professional competition they need to continue their development."
I really feel that Dallas will quickly become a team that relies a lot on the talent from within, meaning they'll be quick to promote young players up when they are ready and give them the playing time that they need. Hell, they're already doing that with the amount of HGPs they've signed thus far. I still have a feeling we'll see them sign one more by the end of the year too.
Pareja was the obvious choice for Reserve team coach for me. He'll probably be able to bring in some academy kids to link up with the reserves the club has to field teams for the Reserve League. Having so many quality young players in this area it is only a matter of time before FC Dallas's academy takes off even further. Let's not forget the recent partnership with Frisco ISD too that allows players outside of Frisco to join the SIAC, or soccer intensive academic curriculum.