Through the grapevine during MLS Cup activities came word that Dallas assistant coach Oscar Pareja has been offered a post as assistant to recently appointed U.S. under-17 head coach Wilmer Cabrera.
Pareja, 39, came to America from Colombia (11 caps for the Colombian national team) in 1998 to play for New England and endured a few months before being traded to Dallas. He was named to the MLS Best XI in 2001. He played in Dallas until retiring at the end of the 2005 season and going into coaching full-time.
Dallas has offered an assistant coach position to midfielder/defender Bobby Rhine, who was left exposed in the expansion draft. It isn't known if he will be an assistant coach only if Pareja departs. Pareja is a holdover from the reign of former head coach Colin Clark, who was dismissed after the 2006 season and replaced by ex-assistant Steve Morrow.
Hiring another Colombian coach - Pareja is from Medellin; Cabrera grew up in Cartagena - would further intensify U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati's stated intent to bring greater Hispanic influences into the federation's coaching.
Both of them played for Colombia; Cabrera played in the 1990 and 1998 World Cups. He missed the 1994 tournament in the United States because of an injury. He holds a USSF 'A' coaching license, as does Pareja.