COMMERCE CITY — Rapids coach Oscar Pareja, who surfaced in rumors for the vacant FC Dallas job, will not interview with his suitors after Rapids president Tim Hinchey denied a request.
Hinchey said Thursday that he denied one interview request for Pareja, although he didn't say which team. Pareja is a former longtime player and assistant coach at Dallas.
"He's our man. It's the first time I've done it. But I respectfully declined their request," Hinchey said. "And I'm prepared to do that as long as we're all together and making this progress. And I don't see that changing."
Hinchey added that while he turned down one offer so far, "I don't care who else calls, I'm going to turn them down too."
Pareja, in his second year as Rapids coach, helped lead Colorado to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. He inherited one of the oldest teams in MLS in 2012, then turned it into one of the youngest last season. The Rapids' 51 points in the league standings was a franchise high.
"Our coach wants to stay here. He's told me so," Hinchey said. "We've given him his first opportunity as head coach and he's run with it. He's done a phenomenal job with it. I hope he sees the support from ownership, myself, Paul (Bravo, technical director), all of us. We're all committed to this together.
"The grass isn't always greener."
"This is a good gig. Let's keep growing here. I think the three of us sense that," Hinchey said of the Rapids' progress. "If someone is going to back the truck up full of dough, you can never anticipate that. You never know. But I think there's really something to build here and we can really have our signatures on it. That's really rewarding."
Pareja on Wednesday led the Rapids through their final practice of the season. And he addressed the coaching rumors.
"I signed for something and I'm working under that. And it is what it is," Pareja said.
"As coaches, for good or bad, you always have your luggage at the front door, just in case you want to kick it in or kick it out," Pareja said. "And that's life. So we'll see. It's better to be wanted to be sure."
Nick Groke: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/nickgroke