Orlando City SC Announces First Team Technical Staff Ahead of 2020 Season

Orlando City SC Announces First Team Technical Staff Ahead of 2020 Season

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 27, 2020) - Orlando City SC has hired assistant coach Jose Maria “Josema” Bazan, goalkeeper coach César Baena and strength and conditioning coach Fabian Bazan to join the technical staff of Head Coach Oscar Pareja, the Club announced today. 

The Bazan brothers join Orlando City SC from Club Tijuana of Liga MX, where they served under Pareja in 2019. Prior to that, they each served on Pareja’s staff at FC Dallas, with Josema named an assistant coach in 2014 and Fabian joining the staff the following year. Baena comes to Orlando with a coaching resume across Venezuela and Mexico, including five years with the Venezuelan National Team from 2008-13. 

A USSF “A” licensed coach, Josema originally joined FC Dallas as an academy coach for the U-16 and U-18 teams in 2011, where he first worked with Pareja. He was promoted to an assistant coaching position in 2014 and has filled the same role under Pareja since that time. 

Throughout his career, he has served as an assistant coach for the U-17, U-20 and senior Venezuelan National Teams, while also forming a youth academy in 1997 in Dallas, River Plate, before serving as the Director of Coaching for the third nationally ranked youth club in the nation in Andromeda SC. 

On the pitch, Josema represented his native country of Argentina at the 1991 U-20 World Cup, while playing in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Brazil across his professional career from 1986 to 1996. He finished his playing career in Dallas as a member of the DFW Tornadoes of the former United Soccer Leagues’ D3 Pro League.

Baena has worked in Orlando since 2017, most recently serving as a goalkeeping coach with the Orlando City Development Academy. Prior to that, he worked with local club ACYS Spirit United in the same role, beginning in 2017. He spent eight years working with a number of clubs in Venezuela and Mexico, including Carabobo FC, Mineros de Guayana, Deportivo Lara FC, Club Tijuana and Caracas FC where he began his coaching career in 2001. 

As a player, Baena enjoyed a 20-year career playing professionally for various clubs in Venezuela and Bolivia, including Caracas FC, Estudiantes de Merida FC, Merida FC and Club Deportivo Oriente Petrolero. On the international stage, he was a regular in goal for the Venezuelan National Team, playing in World Cup Qualifiers for the 1986, 1990 and 1998 editions of the marquee international tournament. 

Fabian comes to Orlando with nearly 30 years of experience as a strength and conditioning coach. Prior to joining the FC Dallas staff in 2015, he spent one year with Club Tijuana following six years serving as the strength and conditioning coach for the Venezuelan National Team from 2007-13, where he worked with Baena. Prior to that he enjoyed stints at various clubs across Central and South America, first serving in his current role with Argentine club Rosario Central in 1993. As a player, he spent four years at the semi-professional level with Argentine side Ferro Carril Oeste from 1985-89 before beginning his coaching career. 

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UPDATE: March 19, 2020 - In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to postpone events involving more than 50 people over the next eight weeks, Major League Soccer has extended the postponement of its matches during this period of time. MLS remains focused on playing the entire 2020 season and is evaluating all options, including pushing back the end of the season and playing MLS Cup in December, as the league did prior to the 2019 season. The league is also identifying other available dates. Throughout this process, MLS will continue to prioritize the safety of our fans, players, employees and partners and to coordinate with federal and local public health authorities as well as other sporting organizations..