In 2010 the fans were treated to something incredibly special - a league MVP in David Ferreira, a team making a late postseason run to the MLS Cup Final and a coach in Schellas Hyndman who seemed to have figured out the league. Heart break ensued as FC Dallas suffered an unspeakable way to lose in a cup final, but everything was pointing up for the club as they roared back in 2011. Dallas became the first MLS team to win a Champions League match in Mexico as they took down Pumas in August of 2011. David Ferreira was still playing at an MVP level, then disaster struck as they lost their playmaker in a horrific leg break. As if that wasn’t enough, the club also lost former player and club legend, Bobby Rhine.
The team was falling apart, and would limp their way into the playoffs, only to be sent home in the Knock Out round. Dallas would not make it the post season again under Schellas Hyndman’s tenure for the next two seasons.
In the three months between head coaches, rumors flied everywhere that Dan Hunt was chasing former FC Dallas player and Academy coach, Oscar Pareja to come back to the club. Pareja returned and ushered what’s been the most successful stretch in club history. But you wouldn’t know that from the collective grumbling from the fan base.
In 2014, Pareja led FC Dallas back into the playoffs. In 2015, the club tied New York Red Bulls for the Supporter’s Shield, but lost out on a tie-breaker. In 2016, Pareja brought in an impressive double winning both the Open Cup and the Shield that eluded his team the year prior. 2017 was an anomaly as they were in first place before falling apart and missing out on the playoffs by another tie-breaker.
In 2018, the team has sat in first place of the West for a good chunk of the season and are still within striking distance of winning the Shield again. But despite all this success, this has oddly been the year where the grumblings and frustration towards Pareja has been the loudest. To the point where there have been calls to replace Pareja mid-season.
That is asinine.
Now, Pareja has his shortcomings as a coach - everyone does. As good as he is at identifying and developing young talent, he’s also equally as quizzical when it comes to his usage of his bench and when to sub players. And he’s certainly got tactics wrong that I’ve criticized him over, but fire Pareja? Come on.
Who would replace him? Seriously. Save your Pep Guardiola type suggestions. Actually name a serious candidate.
And when those same “fans” gripe about “how hard it is to support FC Dallas”, have you actually paid any attention?
Points per season by club
|Atlanta United FC||-||-||-||55||54||109||54.5|
|New York Red Bulls||50||60||57||50||55||272||54.4|
|New York City FC||-||37||54||57||49||197||49.25|
|Sporting Kansas City||49||51||47||49||48||244||48.8|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||50||53||39||52||40||234||46.8|
|Real Salt Lake||56||41||46||45||44||232||46.4|
|Los Angeles Football Club||-||-||-||-||46||46||46|
|New England Revolution||55||50||42||45||33||225||45|
|Orlando City SC||-||44||41||39||24||148||37|
|San Jose Earthquakes||30||47||38||46||20||181||36.2|
|Minnesota United FC||-||-||-||36||29||65||32.5|
This is organized by average points since 2014 and obviously this is a bit skewed for some teams like Atlanta who haven’t been in this league for very long. But with the exception of just one team, the New York Red Bulls, Dallas has gotten more points per season than anyone else in the league during Pareja’s tenure. I would bet there are at least a dozen teams would who take Pareja in a heart beat if he were remotely interested and available.
I get there are games that are absolutely ridiculous to endure. (San Jose anyone?) But before you go global and make grand declarations for major changes, can you at least acknowledge how good we have it right now? Because I suspect that most of the disgruntled fans have not properly looked at the situation and Pareja’s entire body of work.