With the 2020 MLS season now just two days away, Orlando City has announced Oscar Pareja’s technical staff. Brothers Fabian and Jose Maria “Josema” Bazan, along with César Baena, have been spotted at training, in photos, and at Exploria Stadium this preseason, but the club has now made the hires official.
Pareja’s assistant coach will be Josema Bazan, with Baena joining the club as goalkeeping coach. Fabian Bazan is the new strength and conditioning coach. Both of the Bazans have previously worked with Pareja at Club Tijuana and FC Dallas. Josema became Pareja’s assistant in Dallas in 2014 and his brother joined the staff in 2015.
Josema represented Argentina at the 1991 U-20 World Cup and was a professional player in his native Argentina, as well as Bolivia, Chile, and Brazil in a 10-year career from 1986 to 1996. A USSF “A” licensed coach, he 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. He spent five years with the Venezuelan National Team from 2008-2013, serving as an assistant for the U-17, U-20, and senior squads.
Baena has worked in Orlando since 2017, including a stint as a goalkeeping coach with the Orlando City Development Academy. Previously, he has also worked with clubs in Venezuela and Mexico — including Club Tijuana.
As a player, Baena played professionally for 20 years with 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 in 1986, 1990, and 1998.
Fabian brings 30 years of strength and conditioning coaching experience with him. He served a six-year stint in that role with the Venezuelan National Team from 2007 to 2013, working with Baena during that stretch. He also spent a year at Club Tijuana before moving on to FC Dallas. Fabian played semi-professional soccer with Ferro Carril Oeste in Argentina from 1985-89.
Pareja has essentially gotten the band back together. Hopefully the group will continue to display a strong coaching chemistry together and steer Orlando in the right direction.