If reports are to be believed, the United States Men’s National Team may be closer to identifying their new head coach. According to an Al Día report, and also reported by the Dallas Morning News, FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja is under serious consideration to become the next national team manager. The report mentions that he was interviewed last weekend by representatives of U.S. Soccer while in Vancouver to face the Whitecaps.
Pareja, 50, certainly is a guy that many fans have held in high regard when it comes to possible candidates to become the permanent USMNT manager. His coaching experience including being the head of FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids, and he also spent time as an assistant for the USMNT U-17s from 2007-2008. As the man in charge in Frisco, he led FC Dallas to the Supporters Shield and the U.S. Open Cup in 2016 and has consistently kept Dallas at or near the top of the MLS standings in his 4 seasons.
But, what makes Pareja an attractive candidate is his knack for giving minutes to youth players and placing an emphasis on youth development. FC Dallas has one of the best academies in the country, and Pareja signed many of them to the senior team as Homegrown Players. With the USMNT entering a new era where there is expected to be a lot of turnover in the player pool, the emphasis on youth development has grown. For many, Pareja would be a prime candidate to continue the trend of playing the younger American players in an effort to establish a core for the next 2-3 cycles.
Now, Pareja was not interviewed by the one person who is supposed to be in charge of making the ultimate decision: Earnie Stewart. Stewart, the new USMNT general manager, has said that he only expects to interview a few candidates when he reaches that phase of the process. Will Oscar Pareja be one of them? At least among the MLS ranks, Pareja would seem to be a wise choice.
What say you? Hit the comments and let us know if you rate Oscar Pareja to lead the USMNT.