On Thursday, January 5, 2012, Colorado Rapids President Tim Hinchey and Technical Director Paul Bravo introduced Oscar Pareja as the club's new head coach. Below is a transcrip of the introductory press conference, which can be seen in its entirety by CLICKING HERE.
Colorado Rapids President Tim Hinchey
First off, welcome to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park this afternoon for a very special occasion. I’d like to start by thanking the local media members and press for attending the event, which is fantastic. We appreciate that. I’d certainly like to recognize a great group of talented Rapids staff that are down here today also to celebrate, so thanks for coming down. Very special day for us, we’re very excited. I’d also like to take an opportunity to acknowledge we have some members of some of our supporters’ groups here today. We have three major supporter groups so hopefully they’re in the room. We thank them for coming, and I know they’re excited about this announcement as well.
I also need to start and take a moment to thank Clark and Dan Hunt, Doug Quinn from FC Dallas, for allowing us the opportunity to speak to Oscar and to bring him here to Colorado, which is a big thanks and just shows the kind of solidarity our league has. We appreciate them greatly.
On behalf of Mr. Stan Kroenke, Josh Kroenke, Jim Martin, our Chief Executive of Kroenke Sports, Mike Benson, who is here in the room with us today from the executive team; it’s a great pleasure and truly my honor to welcome Mr. Oscar Pareja as our next Head Coach of the Colorado Rapids.
There’s no question that we are absolutely thrilled to land one of the top soccer minds in our league. His experience speaks for itself, and I know that Paul is going to speak a little bit more about his technical gifts here very shortly. As we went through this process and really getting to know Oscar and even spending more time with him this morning, I think what I’m most excited about is the fact that he’s got some other qualities that I think rise above some of his fantastic experience. Oscar, without question, is a true gentleman, he’s a man of character, he’s got phenomenal integrity, and really, he is truly a family man, which makes a huge difference for us and truly reflects what we’re all about here at the Colorado Rapids, as a family man.
I’m thrilled to have him, we’re thrilled to have him for a long time. I know he’s going to bring fantastic things, not only on the pitch, but throughout our front office and into our community. Again, that’s what we want to do, that’s what we want to accomplish. This is certainly a long-term opportunity for the three of us and everyone here at the Rapids.
Without further ado I’m going to introduce a man who has similar qualities that we’re thrilled to be working with and that’s our Technical Director Paul Bravo.
Colorado Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo
Thanks, Tim. It really is an honor for us to be able to present Oscar as the next Head Coach for this club. There’s no doubt in our mind that we’ve chosen the right person to help lead us forward. This is an exciting time for our club; no doubt his experiences as a player in this league, as a player outside of this league, as a coach, and as a keen eye for talent, there’s no doubt that he showed us throughout this whole process that he’s the right man for the job. We’re excited to have him.
Throughout the process we got to know quite a few people along the way. We talked through a lot of different candidates, and each time we spoke to Oscar you could tell that his passion for the game, and his passion for a certain way to play the game, really rang true. That speaks volumes about him. He made a great impression on everybody in Dallas, which we did our due diligence on, and to a person, everybody spoke highly of Oscar. There’s no doubt that he made a great impression on everybody here at this club, everybody downtown at Kroenke Sports, and we’re just absolutely thrilled that he accepted the job.
This hire is another indication of KSE’s commitment to growing this sport not just in our own community but throughout the country. Oscar’s development of young talent and work in the academy system shows that we’re a club that looks forward to incorporating those talents here in Denver as young players look to aspire to be pros. We’re excited that Oscar is going to help us lead that process.
I was fortunate enough and I had a great deal of interaction with Oscar as a player. There’s no doubt that his passion on the field, his leadership qualities, his integrity; his qualities really shone through as a player. Certainly I had a great experience playing against him. I’ve got a few stud marks in the back of the legs from him, but that just signaled that he was a true competitor. I really enjoyed playing against him, I think everybody’s going to enjoy watching him on the sidelines, that passion ring through.
He’s going to bring a great deal throughout the whole club, and that’s really important to us as we went through this process, is how we create that synergy between our first team and all the way down through the rest of the club. He’s going to be great in our community, he was a great ambassador as a player, and as a coach and as a staff member in Dallas, and certainly will bring that here to Denver.
We’re all very excited to have Oscar. I can’t wait to get started with him. The first order of business is flying out tonight to the combine and straight to work.
Oscar Pareja, Colorado Rapids Head Coach
Paul has some scratches from our games, and I have some as well from Marcelo [Balboa]. Those big games that I really remember, from the times that we came and played at Mile High Stadium, and obviously [here] now that Mr. Kroenke has built this marvelous complex.
First of all, I feel honored and thankful with the whole organization in providing me this opportunity to come here to Denver. Thank you so much for that. Thank you to the community for supporting, thanks to Tim, Paul, to Jim as well, to Stan Kroenke for providing this. I am eager to start working, connecting with Denver, connecting with the community and all the different segments, because that’s what we want here. That’s what we want to start here, just creating real connections, that we can bring something special.
I want as well to thank all the people at FC Dallas. It has developed me as a coach, has provided me a great environment there. Thank so much Dan, Clark, and the whole staff and all the people who worked with me during all those years. It has been great, great times, and I can’t mention how much I enjoyed working with them. So to all of them, thank you so much.
As I say, I am excited. I think we have a good team. Colorado has won already an MLS Cup, which is something fantastic, congratulations to the organization, to the people who were part of that. It’s not easy to do it, so it great for me to come to this organization and be part of that, for the players as well. Eager to work with the community, eager to start working with the players. That’s what we want now, as Paul said, we’re going to leave to the combine, after that we will go to the draft. The opener is around the corner. It’s going to be on March 10, here at home, so that’s what we are targeting now.
Thank you so much for coming. I can’t wait to start working. Here, what we’re looking for, we want to win the championship again.
Oscar Pareja, Director Técnico de los Colorado Rapids
Quisiera agradecerles a todo, a la comunidad por el apoyo que hemos tenido durante este proceso. Muchas gracias a Tim, muchas gracias a Paul, a Jim, muchas gracias también a Stan Kroenke por la oportunidad que tengo de venir acá a este club. Me siento y tengo un honor de puedo venir a un club que ya ha sido campeón de la MLS.
Estoy muy ansioso empezar trabajar con el equipo, estoy muy ansioso de venir y empezar a tener conexión con la ciudad, de tener conexión con los diferentes segmentos de la comunidad. Con la comunidad hispana, queremos crear también muchos programas en los lugares que están. Espero que podamos ser de alguna manera más embajadores para esta comunidad que yo sé que en esta ciudad es grande. Tenemos un equipo que tiene muy buenos jugadores, así que estamos muy, muy positivos con eso.
Quiero agradecer también a toda la gente de Dallas, por la oportunidad que me ha dado para desarrollarme como jugador. Creo que vine en un momento que era especial para la liga. Me he desarrollado aquí como técnico también en este club que quiero tanto. A Dan, a Clark, desearles a ellos todo lo mejor y agradecerles bastante.
Estamos ansiosos, como les digo, y esperamos que ahorita en marzo 10 que tenemos el primer juego, pues que la comunidad se acerque y que podamos empecer a crear algo especial aquí en Denver. Muchas gracias.