[MLS 2014 COUNTDOWN]After two years as the Colorado Rapids head coach, Oscar Pareja returned to FC Dallas, where he had spent 14 years as a player and as a coach.
The move was rumored for months but needed an agreement between Dallas and Colorado, where Pareja had one year remaining on his contract. Pareja, a former Colombian international, will replace Schellas Hyndman at FC Dallas. The Rapids will receive a first-round 2015 MLS SuperDraft pick (the second of two belonging to Dallas) and allocation money as compensation for Pareja.
“I spent 14 years in Dallas and both the club and the Hunt family hold a special place in my heart,” said Pareja in a statement. “While I am forever grateful to the Colorado Rapids for giving me my first head coaching job in MLS, my family and I have decided to take this opportunity to get back home to Texas. I believe we can build something really special in Dallas, and I am thankful for the opportunity, and thankful to the organization, its fans and ownership for believing in me.”
Pareja earned his reputation as one of the rising stars of MLS coaching with his work with the FC Dallas academy program. In his second season at Colorado, Pareja led the Rapids to the playoffs with one of the youngest squads in MLS.
FC Dallas coaches:
Dave Dir (1996–2000)
Mike Jeffries (2001-03)
Colin Clarke (2003-06)
Steve Morrow (2006-08)
Schellas Hyndman (2008-013)
Oscar Pareja (2014-)
DEFOE DEAL DONE.A day after Roma announced the sale of Michael Bradley to Toronto FC, another blockbuster deal went down as Tottenham confirmed the transfer of English international Jermain Defoe to Toronto. The 31-year-old Defoe, who will be introduced to Toronto FC fans on Monday, has scored 142 goals in two stints with Spurs.
"Everybody knows how much this club means to me and I will play my heart out for the team and the fans until my last kick for the club," he said in a statement. "I have had a fantastic time here and the fans have always been amazing to me. I am grateful for the opportunity for myself and my family to experience living overseas and for me to play in the MLS with a contract that will take me to the age of 35. I have no doubt I shall be coming back as a fan supporting the team in the years to come too."
Highest Transfer Fees, MLS Signings:
$10 millionMichael Bradley (Roma to Toronto FC, 2014)
$9.9 millionJermain Defoe (Tottenham to Toronto FC, 2014)
$9 million Clint Dempsey (Tottenham to Seattle Sounders, 2013)
(Fees are estimates.)
MASTROENI BACK WITH RAPIDS. Recently retired Pablo Mastroeni, who served as the Colorado Rapids captain from late 2004 until his trade to the LA Galaxy during the 2013 season, has joined the Rapids' technical staff as a special assistant to technical director Paul Bravo.
The former U.S. international is Colorado’s career leader in games and minutes played. He will start his position by assisting Bravo with the Rapids efforts at the adidas MLS Player Combine and MLS SuperDraft.
“In addition to a playing career that few can rival, Pablo is also an intelligent, passionate leader who has the respect of everyone in our organization,” said Rapids President Tim Hinchey. “His experience as a player, knowledge and understanding of the Rapids and our goals, and dedication to the growth of this club will serve us well moving forward.”
-- Also joining the Rapids' staff as an academy coach is former winger Jamie Smith.
adidas MLS Player Combine Results:
Friday, Jan. 10 in Lauderhill, Fla.
Predator 4 Nitro Charge 1.
PRE: Zach Boldon 12
NIT: Reinaldo Brenes 57
PRE: Tesho Akindele 63
PRE: Mamadou Diouf 67
PRE: Pierre Omanga 73
Brazuca 2 adiZero 0.
BRA: Fabio Pereira 5
BRA: Schillo Tshuma 56
SOEHN JOINS REVS.Tom Soehn, the former D.C. United head coach and Vancouver Whitecaps interim coach, has joined the New England Revolution’s coaching staff as an assistant coach.
Soehn, who most recently worked as USA Cup's director of soccer development, began his MLS coaching career as an assistant at Chicago. He led D.C. to a second-straight Supporters Shield in 2007 and guided it to the U.S. Open Cup championship in 2008.
In January 2010, Soehn was appointed as Vancouver’s first director of soccer operations, where he set up its technical operation for its MLS debut in 2011. He returned to the bench in late May 2011, and coached the team for the remainder of the club’s inaugural season after head coach Teitur Thordarson was released.
MLS Preseason: Updated Schedule
SCHULER ENTERS LOTTERY.After two years in Sweden with Hammarby, Billy Schuler has signed with MLS. The former North Carolina forward will be the subject of a lottery on Tuesday.