Former FC Dallas boss Pareja named Club Tijuana manager

After spending five seasons at the helm of the MLS side, the 50-year-old will try his luck in Liga MX

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Former FC Dallas boss Oscar Pareja has been named manager of Liga MX side Club Tijuana.

Pareja officially left his position with FCD last week, departing after spending five seasons in charge of the MLS side. 

As Goal reported on November 17, the 50-year-old has now officially taken over Xolos, who finished 15th out of 18 teams in the Apertura and missed the playoffs by nine points. 

The club’s poor form saw them sack Diego Cocca in October, with Franky Oviedo having been interim coach since Cocca’s departure, losing two games and drawing one while in charge.

Pareja led FC Dallas to the postseason in four of his five seasons at the helm, developing a reputation as one of the league’s best managers and winning the MLS Coach of the Year award in 2016. 

In his playing career, the Medellin, Colombia native played in 385 games for Independiente Medellin and Deportivo Cali before joining MLS in 1998, where he made 183 appearances with the New England Revolution and FC Dallas through 2005.

Pareja received his first professional head coaching gig with the Colorado Rapids in 2012 after starting his post-playing career with Dallas as a youth director and assistant. 

After two seasons and a playoff appearance with the Rapids, Pareja returned to Dallas and oversaw a successful run that included an U.S. Open Cup victory in 2016, along with winning the Supporters’ Shield that season. He also led Dallas to a trip to the 2016-17 Concacaf Champions League semifinal, where the club lost out to eventual champion Pachuca.   

The 50-year-old was mentioned as a candidate for the full-time U.S. national team position, but all indications are Columbus Crew manager Gregg Berhalter is set to take over imminently.  

Pareja will be the first English-speaking coach in Club Tijuana’s short history. The club, which sits just across the international border from California, has long been eager to capture more fans in the United States. 

The manager will also be reunited with former FC Dallas attacker Fabian Castillo, who has scored two goals in 11 games with Tijuana after moving from Trabzonspor in July.