As the search for the next head coach of the United States Men’s National team continues, a new contender for the post has emerged
Al Dia is reporting that FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pereja was interviewed for the position over the weekend by representatives of U.S. Soccer.
Pareja has let his interest in the USMNT coaching job be known, having recently made comments about the role prior to his recent discussions with U.S. Soccer.
“For us, that’d be a project we’ve been striving for so hard, to keep contributing to this country from our chairs to the best of our capabilities,” Pareja recently told Al Dia. “And for that level, that’d be putting ourselves in a privileged position to make things happen instead of watching from the sidelines.”
“I think the national team is in need of renovation. But I think it must get revamped under coaches who are knowledgeable of the system.”
Since the current coaching search began, there has been a strong belief that an American coach would be hired, but while Pareja may not be American, he has worked in the American soccer system long enough to be considered a strong candidate with the necessary knowledge of the American system to handle the job.
“I’m convinced the national team needs a coach who knows the culture and the American player,” Pareja recently told Al Dia. “Whoever is chosen, he must know the roots and the history of North American soccer.
Pareja has enjoyed a largely successful stint as FC Dallas head coach the last five seasons and is the ninth coach to reach the 100-win milestone in MLS history. He’s the third-fastest to reach the mark (228 matches), placing him behind Bob Bradley (199) and Bruce Arena (188). He was named the MLS Coach of the Year in 2016 where he led FC Dallas to a Supporters’ Shield with a league-best 17-8-9 season, and a U.S. Open Cup title.
He’s worked with U.S. Soccer in the past as an assistant on the U-17 national side from 2007-08 and was the Director of Youth Player Development from 2008-11 where he built one of the nation’s best academy systems.
Dave Sarachan has led the USMNT on an interim basis since last November after the United States failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup for the first time in over three decades.