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
In his own words: Watch Oscar Pareja's heartfelt goodbye message. #ThankYouPapi pic.twitter.com/cnW3OBUJfj
— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) November 20, 2018
People have also shared some of their tributes
Watching that goodbye video of Papi…. pic.twitter.com/CgOk7h3ZpT
— Crandall (@Keylock25) November 20, 2018
Official now that Oscar Pareja & FC Dallas are mutually parting ways, presumably on to Xolos which is a great opp. I loved talking w/ Oscar, he was willing to share his deep knowledge of the sport. Learned a lot from him & he brought a very successful era to FCD. He'll be missed
— Mark Followill (@MFollowill) November 19, 2018
I'm going to miss him being at all the HeartWalks. Saw him in a different light and was always awesome to talk to him in such a casual setting.
I still remember the old tifo we did for him when we acquired him from CO. Easily Top 5. #GraciasPapi
— ?Walter (@El_Quimico) November 19, 2018
Best of luck to Oscar Pareja. I could definitely see a few more folks around here adopting Xolos (Tijuana) as their Liga MX team now.
Spring portion of '18-19 Mexican season begins Jan. 4
— Steve Davis (@SteveDavis90) November 19, 2018
Thank you for everything Papi. You will always be one of our own. Wish you the best luck in your future! Let the new era begin ?
— Luis Dollar 🙂 (@luisdollar09) November 19, 2018
I guess I just mentally never looked at a possibility of Papi not being here. I want to be mad but I just can’t be. That man took this teams to places it had never been before and did it with mediocre ownership restricting what he had to work with.
— Jay (@FCJayBird) November 19, 2018
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