It will be up to Oscar Pareja to turn Orlando City SC’s fortunes around. (Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports)
ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City SC has appointed Óscar Pareja as the Club’s newest head coach, it was announced Wednesday.
Pareja returns to Major League Soccer from Club Tijuana of Liga MX after a tenure at FC Dallas.
The Lions hold a press conference for Pareja Thursday.
“Óscar is the perfect fit for the Orlando City organization, something I can say with confidence from our history of working together,” Orlando City SC EVP of soccer operations Luiz Muzzi said in a statement. “He possesses the talent and passion to help our Club reach both its short term goals on the field and long-term plans for the organization. Óscar checked all the boxes we were looking to fill and his vision is aligned with the plans that we have as a club – to invest in and develop players at all levels of our pyramid to be both proud and successful when wearing the Orlando City crest.”
Prior to his time in Mexico, Pareja spent five seasons as the head coach at FC Dallas, where he worked directly with Muzzi to develop one of the most successful pyramids – from Academy to first team – in MLS.
“I’m very excited to be returning to Major League Soccer and to be joining the Orlando City organization,” Pareja said. “The future of this Club is extremely bright, with so many opportunities to grow and succeed at all levels of the club – from the new training facility to the world-class stadium and from the Development Academy all the way to the MLS side. Orlando is an incredible soccer city, with an especially passionate and dedicated fan base. I can’t wait to get started.”
Pareja, 51, compiled a 78-49-43 record at Dallas, featuring a 2016 season that included a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, the MLS Supporters’ Shield and MLS coach of the year honors for the Medellin, Colombia native. The 2016 season marked the second consecutive year Pareja guided his team to a 60-point campaign – the first MLS team to accomplishing that feat.
Under Pareja’s tenure, FC Dallas reached the postseason in four of five seasons. He departed Dallas as the winningest head coach in team history and second all-time in the franchise’s tenure, dating back to its years as the Dallas Burn.