FC Dallas Head Coach
Pareja was announced as the sixth FC Dallas head coach in franchise history on Jan. 10, 2014 but first joined the Dallas Burn in August of 1998. The Colombian star hung up his boots in 2005 after tallying 13 goals and 47 assists (second all-time) in a Dallas kit. He spent the next two seasons as an assistant coach for FC Dallas before joining longtime friend and former Colombian National Team teammate Wilmer Cabrera’s (now head coach of the Houston Dynamo) staff with the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team.
In 2008, Pareja rejoined FC Dallas as Director of Player Development for the FC Dallas Youth system, a program he quickly established as one of the nation’s best. In the 2010-11 season, Pareja was named the U-18 Academy Coach of the Year before taking the U-18s to a runner-up finish at the national championship. U.S. Soccer rated the FC Dallas Academy No. 1 in the nation out of more than 70 clubs in 2011. Also in 2011, Pareja served as an assistant coach for the FC Dallas first team and head coach of the FC Dallas Reserves.
Exactly six years to the day after he scored his last goal as a player for FC Dallas, Pareja was inducted into the Walk of Fame alongside former teammate and friend, Bobby Rhine, who passed away unexpectedly one month before the induction.
The Colorado Rapids named Pareja head coach following the 2011 season and in two seasons, the former Dallas man went 25-31-13, orchestrating a 2013 turnaround that saw the Rapids back in the postseason and had Pareja widely featured among Coach of the Year chatter.
Pareja has a MLS record of 76-30-43 in four seasons, as well as an 10-2-2 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and 4-2-2 record in CONCACAF Champions League play.
In his first year as head coach of FC Dallas, in 2014, Pareja won 16 games – the most FC Dallas had won in a single season since 2006. Pareja also led Dallas back into the postseason for the first time since 2011, tied the franchise record for goals scored in a season and recorded the most points in a season in franchise history (54). In his third year at the helm of FC Dallas, Pareja led the club to its first title in 19 years with a domestic double. The club captured its second U.S. Open Cup title (1997, 2016) with a 4-2 victory over the New England Revolution on Sept. 13, 2016, followed by its first Supporters’ Shield title after registering the best regular-season record (17-8-9 record, 60 points). FCD became the first team in league history to record consecutive 60-plus point seasons after finishing the 2015 campaign with an identical 60-point mark (18-10-6). For his efforts, Pareja was named the 2016 MLS Coach of the Year on Dec. 1, 2016.
As a player, Pareja appeared in 385 games of Independiente Medellin and Deportivo Cali before joining MLS in 1998. He then played 183 games in MLS (New England and Dallas). Pareja also earned 11 caps with the Colombian National Team, scoring three goals for his country from 1991 to 1996.