Óscar Pareja

Óscar Alexander Pareja Gómez (born 10 August 1968) is a Colombian professional football manager and former player. He is currently the head coach of Orlando City in Major League Soccer. Pareja is nicknamed El Generalito, the Little General, but is now called Papi.

Óscar Pareja
Pareja while coaching FC Dallas.
Personal information
Full name Óscar Alexander Pareja Gómez
Date of birth (1968-08-10) 10 August 1968
Place of birth Medellin, Colombia
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Orlando City (head coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1995 Independiente Medellín 263 (18)
1995–1998 Deportivo Cali 122 (11)
1998 New England Revolution 13 (0)
1998–2005 FC Dallas 170 (13)
Total 568 (42)
National team
1991–1996 Colombia 11 (3)
Teams managed
20052007 FC Dallas (assistant)
20072008 United States U-17 (assistant)
20082011 FC Dallas (assistant)
20122014 Colorado Rapids
20142018 FC Dallas
2019 Tijuana
2019 Orlando City
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Playing career

Pareja came up through the youth system of Atlético Nacional; however, he began his professional career in 1987, debuting for renowned club Independiente Medellín. In his debut, he assisted on the winning goal in a 1-0 victory. He played eight years with the club, from 1987 to 1995, helping them to be Categoría Primera A runners-up in 1993, and leading them to a respectable performance in the 1994 Copa Libertadores. In 1995, Deportivo Cali purchased Pareja from Independiente Medellín; he paid immediate dividends, helping Cali to a championship in the 1995-1996 season, their first in 22 years. He would stay with them four years.

Pareja then signed with Major League Soccer (MLS) of the United States. After joining MLS, Pareja was allocated to the New England Revolution on 26 May 1998, but was soon traded to the Dallas Burn for Mexican forward Damian Alvarez. Although Pareja played little for Dallas in 1998, he earned himself a place at the center of Dallas's midfield for the 1999 season, playing 27 games and scoring four goals and six assists, while coordinating the Burn attack.[1] He remained in this position for six more years, playing in 189 regular season games for Dallas, while scoring 13 goals and 52 assists, and was named to the MLS Best XI in 2002. He announced he would retire following the 2005 MLS season and remained with the club, now renamed as FC Dallas, as an assistant coach.


Pareja also played for the Colombia national football team. In 11 caps, he scored three goals and played in the 1991 Copa América.

Coaching career

Pareja spent two seasons as an assistant coach with FC Dallas in 2006 and 2007. He then left the club to join the United States U-17 men's national soccer team as an assistant coach at the IMG Soccer Academy in 2007-08.[2] He then returned to the coaching staff at FC Dallas as a director and coach in their youth system. He was praised for the system's achievements and was named the U-18 Academy Coach of the Year for the 2010-11 season.[3] For the 2011 MLS season, Pareja returned to the first team as an assistant coach. He was also head coach for the reserve team.[3]

The Colorado Rapids signed Pareja to his first head coach job on 5 January 2012.[4] After finishing 7th in his debut season, Pareja led the Rapids to the playoffs in 2013. After two seasons he stepped down as Colorado head coach on 4 January 2014.[5]

Pareja was announced as the head coach of his former club, FC Dallas, on 10 January 2014, after Dallas traded a first-round 2015 MLS SuperDraft pick and allocation money to Colorado.[6] Having missed the playoffs the last two seasons prior to Pareja's arrival, FC Dallas made the postseason in his debut season as head coach. In 2015, Dallas topped the Western Conference regular season table, finishing runners-up for the Supporters' Shield to New York Red Bulls. The following year the club did a domestic double winning both the Supporters Shield and the U.S. Open Cup, defeating New England Revolution 4–2 in the final.[7] It was the club's first Supporters' Shield win and second time lifting the U.S. Open Cup having last done so in 1997.

Amid speculation about interest from Liga MX, Pareja stepped down as manager of Dallas following the completion of the 2018 season. He had a combined 18 years at the club as a player, coach, and manager.[8][9] Club Tijuana announced Pareja as their new manager on 27 November 2018.[10] After 12 months, Pareja was sacked by Tijuana.[11][12]

On 4 December 2019, Pareja returned to MLS, becoming the fourth permanent head coach of Orlando City.[13]

Coaching record

All competitive games are included.

As of 4 December 2019
Coaching record by team and tenure
Team From To Record
P W D L GF GA GD Win %
Colorado Rapids 5 January 2012 4 January 2014 72 26 13 33 93 96 −3 036.11
FC Dallas 10 January 2014 16 November 2018 201 97 48 56 331 271 +60 048.26
Club Tijuana 27 November 2018 25 November 2019 49 23 5 21 76 83 −7 046.94
Orlando City 4 December 2019 present 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 !
Career totals 322 146 66 110 500 450 +50 045.34

Coaching honors

FC Dallas

See also


  1. , MLSNET.com official player stats
  2. , USsoccer.com 26 November 2007
  3. "OSCAR PAREJA FC Dallas Head Coach". FC Dallas. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  4. Andrew Wiebe (5 January 2012). "Rapids hire FC Dallas assistant Pareja as head coach". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  5. "Report: Oscar Pareja steps down as Colorado Rapids head coach". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  6. "Oscar Pareja joins FC Dallas". Colorado Rapids. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  7. "The Double: FC Dallas wins 2016 Supporters' Shield". Empire of Soccer.
  8. Bogert, Tom. "Head coach Oscar Pareja, FC Dallas mutually agree to part ways". MLS.
  9. "FC Dallas parts ways with head coach Oscar Pareja". SBIsoccer.com. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  10. "Oscar Pareja officially named Club Tijuana manager". SBIsoccer.com. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  11. "COMUNICADO OFICIAL CLUB TIJUANA XOLOITZCUINTLES DE CALIENTE". Sitio Oficial del Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente.
  12. "Former FC Dallas head coach Pareja out at Club Tijuana". SBI Soccer. 26 November 2019.
  13. "Orlando City SC Names Óscar Pareja as Head Coach". www.orlandocitysc.com.
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