Liga MX side Club Tijuana is set to announce the hiring of FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja as the team’s new manager, multiple sources have confirmed to Goal.
The Colombian coach has been in charge of FC Dallas for five seasons, earning a reputation as one of the top head coaches in Major League Soccer.
Pareja was believed to be in the running for the vacant U.S. national team job, but with Gregg Berhalter looking like U.S. Soccer’s likely pick, Pareja will now continue his coaching career in Mexico.
The 50-year-old Pareja has spent the better part of 20 years with FC Dallas, first as a player, then academy director and eventually head coach. He had stints with the U.S. Under-17 national team and the Colorado Rapids before rejoining FC Dallas for a five-year run that saw team develop into one of the better sides in MLS.
Club Tijuana has been searching for a new manager since parting ways with Argentine boss Diego Cocca following a run of poor results that left the Xolos near the bottom of the standings. Colombian Franky Oviedo has been the Xolos interim coach since Cocca’s departure.
Having guided FC Dallas through a solid bounce-back season in 2018 after a disappointing 2017 MLS campaign, Pareja previously helped lead FC Dallas to the MLS Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup titles in 2016 and netted himself MLS coach of the year honors that season. He also led the team to a run to the 2017 Concacaf Champions League semifinals, where FCD lost to eventual champions Pachuca.
Pareja will be the first English-speaking coach in the Club Tijuana’s short history. Xolos has been eager to capture fans in the United States, agreeing to a broadcast deal with Fox Sports to televise matches in English and producing social media content in English as well as Spanish.
Pareja earned a good reputation for developing young talent and bringing up academy players to the FC Dallas first team, attributes that surely made him an attractive coaching candidate for Club Tijuana, which has invested heavily in its academy system.
Pareja’s move to Club Tijuana will also reunite him with former FC Dallas star Fabian Castillo, who joined Club Tijuana in July.
Pareja is the latest top MLS coach to leave MLS, with Atlanta United coach Tata Martino set to depart at the end of the season, with the Mexican national team his expected next destination. Berhalter is expected to be named the next U.S. coach. In the summer, New York Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch left MLS to become an assistant coach at Bundesliga side RB Leipzig while Patrick Vieira left New York City FC in the summer to take charge of Ligue 1 side OGC Nice.
Jon Arnold contributed to this story.