Rethinking Oscar Pareja


Speculation continues about the target of FCD's head coaching search with Oscar Pareja being the probable fan favorite of the moment to return home and lead the hoops.

For anyone who watched the Colorado-Seattle game last night, you might have some hesitations about Pareja as the future helm of the FC Dallas franchise. At moments, it felt eerily Hyndman-esque in some of his decisions and substitutions. Take, for instance, what Burgundy Wave shared in their Daily Wave assessment of the match:

While Pareja can't be entirely faulted for his players coming out flat, his reticence to bring out reinforcements earlier was troubling. An expected halftime substitution to shake things up for the anemic Rapids never occurred. He waited too long to put Sanchez in, whose presence was a momentary boost. Wynne came in for Nathan Sturgis late in the game when the team needed an offensive spark, not a defensive mercenary. And Harris remained on the field for the full 90 minutes with little to show for his evening but a yellow card.

No doubt, Pareja had a tough go at his first playoff match as a head coach. The Rapids were away from their home fortress in one of the most difficult places to get a result in the league. Key players were injured. A string of poor results had dampened their energy and form over the last few weeks of the season. And the team would have to deal with a possibly rejuvenated Clint Dempsey after scoring his first goal of the season against the LA Galaxy.

Still, the defense was a mess. Seattle could have scored many more. The Rapids midfield had no answer to Seattle's swarming approach in the first half. The second half showed some adjustments and a bit more possession for Colorado, but ultimately, it wasn't enough.

A loss for the Rapids may help FCD in its attempt to pry Pareja away, but like most, I wonder if a stronger showing would have been more preferable (2-1 loss, for example).

Pareja is maturing and gaining confidence as a coach. I still feel like he is the right choice for FC Dallas, if the Rapids will let him go. He beat expectations, molding a team out of a mix of rookies and veterans and dealing with the loss of an entrenched starting goalkeeper due to injury, and still made it to the playoffs. Maybe we should keep that in mind if last night's playoff showing has us rethinking Pareja.

  • Did Pareja's tactics against Seattle give you pause? Would you have liked to seen a little more from the Rapids or Pareja?
  • Do you still think Pareja should be FCD's number one target or just one of many targets?
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