Editorial (December 13, 2018) – FC Dallas are going through drastic changes this off-season. Long time head coach and young player whisperer Oscar Pareja is gone. He’s headed to Club Tijuana in Liga MX. The club is actively looking for a new head coach, making moves, and pivoting to a new era as FC Dallas turnover is prevalent.
FC Dallas Turnover: Oscar Pareja’s guys out, trusting the process with youth
Dallas has parted ways recently with a number of holdovers who were Pareja’s guys. Roland Lamah and Victor Ulloa? Headed to expansion side FC Cincinnati. Maximiliano Urruti? He got traded to Montreal Impact? Tesho Akindele? He’s with Orlando City SC now.
All of this while they haven’t made a decision on the next head coach, though it looks like internal candidate Luchi Gonzalez is the front-runner. If that deal is being finalized, Gonzalez could be actively working with the rest of club leadership to make these moves (read: they’re on the same page).
Every player who’s left recently is a Pareja guy. Ulloa was an academy player Pareja picked out. Lamah and Urruti were foreign acquisitions he courted. Akindele was drafted by Pareja and relied on at times despite under-performing and decent track record of only scoring against bad teams.
There was also some bad mojo in the locker room in the middle of last season and several players had opportunities to leave the club but were not sold. This was a possible factor in FCD’s historic second half collapse in 2017. The departing players could be excited about new opportunities now that the coach who brought them to Dallas and was why they’ve stayed is gone. The question is what the club is doing to replace them?
Word on the street is they’re fully embracing the development academy. It makes sense then if Gonzalez is getting the job. They have a number of young player on the team right now (Jesse Gonzalez and Reggie Cannon) and more along the way with their new USL affiliate starting play in 2019.
Dallas has lots of talent and money jettisoned from the team recently. The club will probably be committing to several years of rebuilding and player growth at the expense of results. Based on their budget and the Western Conference, they might have run their course and accomplished all they could. The Homegrown wave cometh. It’s time for Dallas to see if their academy can take them to where New York Red Bulls have gotten by playing the kids or beyond.