Pareja, a former FC Dallas player, made his mark in the MLS club's organization by developing academy players for the first team. Gonzalez, hired by FC Dallas in 2012 and promoted to academy director in 2015, was selected to take over as the first-team head coach in 2019 following Pareja's decision to become the head coach at Mexico's Tijuana.
Unlike Pareja, who coached the Colorado Rapids for two seasons before returning to FC Dallas in 2014, Gonzalez has no head coaching experience in MLS, but his work in the academy convinced the club's owners that he is the right fit for an organization that has produced an MLS-record 23 Homegrown Players.
SA Q&A: Luchi Gonzalez: 'Coaches
cannot be set in their ways' (2015)
“Luchi is an outstanding teacher, a smart tactician and has a keen understanding of what it takes to build a successful team,” said FC Dallas chairman and CEO Clark Hunt in a club release. “We are excited about his passion for FC Dallas and his vision for the future of the club. Luchi had championship success with our academy and we’re confident he will build on that as a head coach in MLS.”
Gonzalez hails from Miami, where he was introduced to soccer by his Peruvian father, but he played college soccer at SMU after representing the USA at the 1997 U-17 World Cup, the last tournament before U.S. Soccer opened its residency program in Bradenton Florida.
He will be the fifth former MAC Hermann Trophy winner to coach in MLS after Glenn Myernick (1976), Mike Jeffries (1983), Brad Friedel (1992) and Jay Heaps (1998). After winning the Hermann Trophy in 2001, he moved to MLS as the sixth overall selection by the reigning champion San Jose Earthquakes in the 2002 SuperDraft but bounced around teams in MLS, Sweden, Peru and the NASL before returning to South Florida to begin his coaching career at his alma mater, Gulliver Prep, where he was dean of students and an algebra teacher.
Gonzalez led FC Dallas’ U-15/16s to back-to-back Development Academy national championships in 2015 and 2016. Eight starters are already pros, including Weston McKennie and Reggie Cannon, who are U.S. internationals. Besides Cannon, three players Gonzalez coached in the FC Dallas academy -- Brandon Servania, Paxton Pomykal and Jesus Ferreira -- should contend for first-team roles in 2019.
2015 FC Dallas U/15-16 starters:
Ben Hale (Furman sophomore)
Eddie Munjoma (SMU junior)
Hector Montalvo (Tigres Sub-20, Mexico)
Brandon Terwege (UCLA sophomore)
Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas)
Adrian Ramos (Saint Louis junior)
Damian Hernandez (Richland College 2017)
Weston McKennie (Schalke 04, Germany)
Devin Vega (Phoenix Rising)
Giovanni Montesdeoca (North Carolina sophomore)
Tosh Yasuda (Grand Canyon junior)
2016 FC Dallas U/15-16 starters:
Carlos Avilez (FC Dallas U-18/19 2017-18)
Brecc Evans (Cal Poly freshman)
Jacob Goyen (Ohio State sophomore)
Jose Castro (Oral Roberts sophomore)
Blake Willis (Columbia sophomore)
Jommar Reyes (Lonestar SC U-18/19 2017-18)
Mark Salas (North Carolina sophomore)
Aldo Quevedo (Yale sophomore)
Brandon Servania (FC Dallas)
Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas)
Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas)