ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2023) – Orlando City SC and Head Coach Oscar Pareja have agreed to a new contract, it was announced today, with the former MLS Coach of the Year returning on a two-year contract through 2025.
“Oscar has been integral to what we are building, and his leadership and dedication to winning championships has set an example for everyone at our Club,” said Orlando City SC Chairman Mark Wilf. “Oscar takes great pride in representing Orlando City SC and has established a culture that embodies everything our organization is about and a team of which our fans can be proud. The positive relationships and respect Oscar creates with his players has built a critical foundation for success. We are excited to have Oscar continue to lead us into the future.”
“I first want to say how grateful I am to the Wilf family and the whole ownership group for the support that they’ve given us and allowing us to create the culture here that we have built these last few years,” said Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja. “The support that the fans have shown us has been incredible through everything and, along with everyone working at the Club, they’ve made me feel like this is home. We know that there are things left that we want to achieve here in Orlando and I feel like we can accomplish those objectives. I’m excited to stay here in Orlando and for what’s to come.”
Since taking over as Orlando City’s Head Coach ahead of the 2020 season, Pareja has led the Lions to a 70-37-42 record, leading the side to four-consecutive Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearances, two-straight appearances in Concacaf Champions Cup (formerly known as Concacaf Champions League), new Club records for most wins and points in a season, an MLS is Back Tournament Final appearance and the Club’s first trophy in its MLS era by winning the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Prior to his last four seasons in the City Beautiful, Pareja spent one season at the helm of Club Tijuana of Liga MX and five seasons as the head coach at FC Dallas, where he worked directly with City EVP of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi to develop one of the most successful pyramids - from Academy to First Team - in Major League Soccer, which has carried over to their time at Orlando City.
During his coaching tenure at Dallas, the Medellin, Colombia native compiled a 78-49-43 record, featuring a 2016 season that included a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, the MLS Supporters’ Shield and MLS Coach of the Year honors. 2016 marked the second-straight season Pareja led his team to a 60-point campaign – the first MLS team to do so - accomplishing the feat the season prior when he also guided Dallas to the Western Conference championship.
Pareja, 55, joined the MLS head coaching ranks in 2012 where he would spend two seasons as the manager of the Colorado Rapids, leading the club to the playoffs in 2013. Pareja also spent time coaching the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team from 2007-08.
As a player, Pareja played nearly 400 games in his home country of Colombia between Independiente Medellin (263 appearances) and Deportivo Cali (122 appearances). A talented midfielder, Pareja was allocated to the New England Revolution ahead of the 1998 season but was traded to the Dallas Burn after 13 games - a move that kicked off Pareja’s long tenure with the Dallas organization. He would go on to play 170 matches, tallying 13 goals and 47 assists in a Dallas uniform.
Pareja also featured on the international stage for his home country, totaling 11 caps for Colombia. In addition to scoring three goals for Los Cafeteros, Pareja also appeared in the 1991 Copa América.