On Tuesday, Orlando City SC announced the renewal of coach Oscar Pareja's contract for an additional two years, extending his commitment until the 2025 season of Major League Soccer (MLS). The decision comes after a brilliant campaign in 2023, where the team finished second in the league's overall standings, securing a record 63 points.
Orlando City's confidence in Pareja is evident in the words of President Mark Wilf, who emphasized the coach's importance in shaping the club's identity.
"Oscar has been instrumental in what we are building, and his leadership and dedication to winning championships have set an example for everyone in our club."- Wilf stated in an official release
Since taking over as head coach in 2020, Pareja has led Orlando City to four consecutive appearances in the Audi MLS Cup playoffs and two consecutive appearances in the Concacaf Champions Cup. Additionally, the team won the US Open Cup title in 2022, marking a historic achievement in the MLS era.
In his statements, Pareja expressed gratitude to the Wilf family and the ownership group for their support, highlighting the sense of being at home due to the backing of the fans and everyone working at the club.
"We know there are still goals to be achieved here in Orlando, and I feel we can reach those goals. I am excited to stay here and for what is to come."- Pareja said in an official release
The contract renewal comes at a promising time for Orlando City, which has an open Designated Player slot and a strong roster, including Facundo Torres, Martín Ojeda, Pedro Gallese, Robin Jansson, César Araújo, Duncan McGuire, among others, forming one of the league's strongest squads.
Orlando City's first competitive challenge in 2024 is scheduled for February 21 when the team visits Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League in Round One of the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup. With Pareja at the helm, the team's future prospects seem more promising than ever, and fans can expect to continue the success story under his leadership.