After some news broke out on Saturday stating that Oscar Pareja would leave FC Dallas for Club Tijuana Xolos, the first part of that statement was confirmed Monday with FC Dallas stating the Oscar Pareja and the club have mutually agreed to part ways.

I feel like this is a sad truth that has come sooner than what many fans (myself included) would have preferred to face. Writing this definitely isn’t easy because many share the same feeling that this is something that we all knew would happen someday but it just didn’t seem like it ever would happen. I don’t know what to say but I have so much to say.

We as fans know that coaching changes are all part of the sport and they usually don’t end in good ways either. Many times coaching changes happen because a coach is sacked or their contract runs out and is not renewed due to poor form. Papi was different.

Last season, FC Dallas signed Oscar Pareja to a new long-term deal. Papi loved this club. He played with them from 1998-2005. Then came back to start the academy and later became an assistant coach. Papi has coached all 23 homegrowns that have been signed. The FC Dallas Academy is his brainchild. The reason why we have such a great academy as it is is that of Papi. He lead us to two 60 pt seasons, two CONCACAF Champions Leagues, 4 playoff runs, a USOC Championship, and the Supporters Shield. Sure you have the titles and the things to put on the resume but what really makes Papi special is his coaching.

First the obvious, he worked with a very limited squad in comparison to what a coach of his quality could get from other teams. He squeezed every little bit of talent and skill out from all his players. He knows how to develop players. He made Matt Hedges into one of the leagues best defenders. He groomed Walker Zimmerman, made Kellyn Acosta into a USMNT starter. Grew Carlos Gruezo into the most underrated defensive midfielder. Gave Victor Ulloa a second chance and is cementing him as a club great. Brought in Reggie Cannon and is made him into one to watch for the future. Grew Weston McKinney and Christian Cappis into European players. Paxton, Jesus, Reaves, Cano, Jesse, Servania, Roberts, Reynolds, Richards, and so many more are all possibilities for FC Dallas’s future because of all the work that Papi has done.

Here’s Papi’s departure video

People have also shared some of their tributes

It does seem fair that Papi looks for a new challenge as just like the players that he coached and brought in, Papi himself has a huge potential as a coach and I wish him nothing but the best in the future. I know that he will do great and it’s hard to capture and encapsulate all that Papi has done for this team and what he means for this club.


Photo: FC Dallas

Photo: FC Dallas


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