FRISCO — FC Dallas held a news conference Tuesday to introduce their new head coach, but with all the hugs and smiles, it felt more like a reunion.
"I can't express this morning how excited and happy I am to return to what I consider home," said Oscar Pareja.
Pareja was Colorado's head coach for the last two years. But before that, he spent 14 years with FC Dallas as a player, an assistant coach, and the head of the team's nationally-renowned youth academy.
"I had told him one day we would work together," said FC Dallas president Dan Hunt. "When the time is right, we would team back up... and it came a lot sooner than I expected."
In addition to everything he's done in Major League Soccer, Pareja played for his native Colombian national team and also spent a year coaching the U-17 United States national team.
"It's hard for somebody to have that level of experience, and he was able to take those experiences and say, 'Look: Here's what it takes to be successful,'" said Clark Hunt, chairman of Hunt Sports Group.
FC Dallas finished 8th in the nine-team Western Conference last year, but Pareja thinks this team can compete in 2014.
"We have a good roster, for sure," Pareja said. "I think that the prior coaching staff had done a great job in building this team."
Hiring a new head coach doesn't guarantee instant success, but it can, and the Hunt family knows this better than most. They also own the Kansas City Chiefs, who went 2-14... then hired Andy Reid... then went to the playoffs.
"When you bring in a new coach, a lot of times the culture completely changes," said Clark Hunt.
"It doesn't fix itself overnight," added Dan Hunt, who was promoted to president of the organization on Monday. "But boy, you sure can make quick changes, and the Chiefs are a prime example of that this year."
The Hunts hired the right guy in Kansas City, and they think they've done it again in Frisco.