Contrary to a local report, FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja has not met with United States Soccer Federation representatives about the U.S. men’s national team job, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Yahoo Sports late Monday.
Earlier in the day, a story published by the Dallas Morning News and its Spanish-language counterpart Al Dia said that Pareja was interviewed by USSF officials in Vancouver, where FCD beat the Vancouver Whitecaps in an MLS match on Sunday:
“The FC Dallas coach was interviewed this weekend in Vancouver, British Columbia, by representatives of U.S. Soccer, the sources said.”
But that account isn’t accurate, according to the source. “There was no meeting,” the person said.
That doesn’t necessarily mean the federation has no interest in Pareja, or that they won’t formally interview him for the job. Asked if they had been approached by or had given permission to any suitor asking to speak to Pareja, an FC Dallas spokesperson declined to comment, and instead provided the following statement: “The entire organization, including Oscar, is completely focused on finishing the regular season strong, and putting us in the best position for a playoff run.”
U.S. Soccer also wouldn’t confirm or deny the report, saying only that the organization wouldn’t make “any specific comments on possible candidates” during the national team’s ongoing coaching search.
Pareja, 50, is a native of Colombia who played for that country’s national team before moving to MLS in the late 1990s. He retired as an FC Dallas player in 2005 and eventually became its head coach in 2014 after two seasons leading the Colorado Rapids. FCD won the Supporters Shield and U.S. Open Cup titles in 2016 under Pareja, and the club currently sits atop MLS’s Western Conference with five regular season games to play.
The U.S. men have ben without a permanent coach since Bruce Arena resigned almost a year ago in the wake of the team’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Interim manager Dave Sarachan is signed through the end of the calendar year, with USMNT general manager Earnie Stewart expected to name a long-term appointment before then.
More soccer on Yahoo Sports:
• Pulisic soaring, idle Weah down on McIntyre’s latest USMNT Stock Watch
• Messi scores, but 10-man Barcelona settle for home draw with Girona
• U.S. midfielder McKennie injured against Bayern Munich
• McIntyre’s 23 Thoughts: MLS vs. Liga MX, Sounders’ streak, Vemes on USMNT