FRISCO - How do you quantify the impact of a man who has spent the better part of two decades with a single organization?
Oscar Pareja is near the top in almost every category of the franchise’s record book. Oscar Pareja led FC Dallas to its first trophy in 19 years in 2016, and then doubled down a month later. Oscar Pareja transformed FC Dallas to the a team that accrued the second-most points in MLS over the last five seasons. Oscar Pareja is the winningest head coach in the modern era of FC Dallas and is second on the club’s all-time wins list
The list goes on and on.
The countless things Pareja accomplished as a player and head coach, though, will be far overshadowed by one fact: Oscar Pareja helped launch the FC Dallas Academy. And, as it was pointed out once the news started to break on Saturday, there has not been one singular person more ingrained in the development of youth in Frisco.
Every Homegrown in FCD history, all 23 of them, were either coached by Oscar Pareja at some level or signed by him. Probably the single most impressive coaching footprint in MLS history.— Will Parchman (@WillParchman) November 17, 2018
The lasting imprint of ‘Papi’ on this franchise has forever been made.
Although born in Colombia, Pareja has spent nearly half of his life in America and always showed a keen interest in developing the American player. His face lit up any time he spoke about his young Homegrown players or the milestones he quickly recognized as they continually became more and more involved in his roster.
From arriving early and staying late to watch a few moments of Academy team trainings to often being spotted at Academy games in Frisco - even just a few hours before the first team would play - American soccer has always held a special place in his heart.
Look no further than the excitement on his face the morning North America was awarded the 2026 World Cup.
The FC Dallas Way set forth by Oscar Pareja over the last 11 years will not change in his absence.
Among the next wave of Homegrown signings, whomever they might be, many of the current talent in the Academy has been on his training field during the mixed training sessions held almost daily. The ones who didn’t will still have been impacted by Pareja simply by being in the very Academy he led.
For that, we simply say Thank You, Papi. You will forever be part of the FCD Family.