Orlando City introduced Head Coach Oscar Pareja to the media today in a press conference at Exploria Stadium. Both Pareja and Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi spoke with introductory statements and then took questions from the media. In full disclosure, we weren’t there because we have pesky day jobs, but what follows is a summary of today’s comments (the English statements anyway, as my efforts on Duolingo have thus far produced only modest results):
- “Today it’s a very happy day for me, for the club. It’s a pleasure to have Oscar here. A great coach, a great person. A guy that has all the values that we’re looking for, the work ethic that we’re looking for, everything that we’re looking for.”
- “When we started looking for a coach I couldn’t think of a better name than Oscar.”
- “Oscar has everything, all of those qualities the club was looking for. How could I find somebody better? I could not.”
- Muzzi said he believes the future is bright now that Pareja is on board.
- Muzzi said the Central Florida area is loaded with young talent and trusts that the club can identify and develop that talent. “Part of our mission should be that we are connected to the players who are here. I think it’s extremely positive to have someone here (Pareja) who shares the same values.”
- Of what makes Pareja different than previous OCSC coaches, Muzzi said: “We all expect results. It’s not uncommon to see (firing coaches) happening. Why is he different? That’s a question that only time can answer. I know what he can bring to the club. The question should be why he’s the next step in the construction in this club. It’s about building on what’s already here.”
- Muzzi said the coach-GM relationship has to be unified and has to work together. The GM has to allow the coach to have tranquility and bring in players who will make a difference. It’s the GM’s job to communicate with the coach to see what’s needed and what the coach wants.
- Muzzi brought up the club’s new training facility and how important it is to have great facilities and a place where the academy and OCB can train with the first team.
- He said that sometimes the GM can’t get the player the coach wants and must find a different way to accomplish the same objectives but he will work hard to get the coaches that fit what the coach wants to do.
- “I would like to thank (Orlando City CEO) Alex (Leitao) and the people that made this possible.”
- “Today is a great day in my career. Coming back to Major League Soccer is another big opportunity to keep growing.”
- Pareja said his time in Tijuana with the Xolos made him grow as a coach.
- “I’m very excited, very happy, very optimistic. We can keep creating a big story for Orlando.”
- Pareja said there is a lot of work to do here but also there were a lot of good things that happened in the last year. He said that he and Muzzi have a plan and that “I see a bright future here that I’d like to be a part of.”
- Pareja said when he arrived in MLS in 1998 he found a league just starting up. He said that many of the players were out of college and he built a belief in those players and still sees a value in players who go to college and take advantage of those opportunities before turning pro.
- The coach said he wants to build an environment where players can grow and develop.
- Of the talent in the state, Pareja said “When I see Orlando with that potential, that inspired me and I would like to be part of that, developing players in Orlando and Homegrown players.”
- “We all feel that urgency to get results. We would like to have that positive mentality.”
- “Winning is something that we all want. In January we’re all going to be champions. In February everyone will come here with positive energy. In the summer there are clubs who are struggling and others who are achieving their objectives. The only way to achieve results is to get everybody with the same attitude and belief that things can be done and to work.”
- “We’re going to work hard. We need to get results and we know that.”
- Pareja said he would like to have an attacking team all the time, one that can be aggressive, score a lot of goals and be in an offensive mindset all the time.
- Pareja said he looks for three things in his players: character, those who fit the identity that he wants the team to have, and balance (how to attack and how to defend too).
- “The balance of the team is what gives you the titles and trophies.”
- Pareja said he wasn’t concerned that the club had a history of coaching turnover. He said it was normal around the world to see turnover when the team isn’t getting results and that it’s up to the coach to put in the work and get results to stick around.
- Pareja said that despite the fans’ frustrations at missing the playoffs, he believes in the roster and saw a lot of good things when he did his homework. However, he added that he’d like to bring in some additions who can come in and help make the team better.
- “I would like some additions to the roster who can make Orlando better and make the fans come back to the stadium. I would like to identify who is the right player to connect to the community and is a model player.”
- When asked what he’d like to say to the fans, Pareja said he watched the team’s first MLS game in 2015 and it left an impression on him about the community. He thought the fans were very involved in the games when he brought his Dallas teams to Orlando. He added that he wants the fans who have stopped attending games to come back and be part of growing things in the right direction again and that people who come to just a few games will starting coming more regularly. He hopes to build a team that will bring fans a lot of joy both in terms of how they play and the results they achieve.