Seeing Ramon Nunez score for Leeds United yesterday in Carling Cup action got me to thinking, what's up with the FC Dallas team of 5 years ago. Well it's a slow news day so why don't we take a trip down memory lane and see what's going on with the heroes of the past.
2006 was probably the most talented team on paper FC Dallas has had until this season finishing top of the west and just three points behind DC for Supporters Shield. Let's take a look at what's up with the FC Dallas team that lost 1-0 to Houston almost 5 years ago today.
Dario Sala Dario is heavily involved in soccer marketing and still lives in Dallas with his family. He has also began work on a career as a soccer agent and almost any deal bringing an Argentine into MLS likely has his footprint on it somewhere.
Bobby Rhine Bobby is one of the front office faces of FC Dallas. Since retiring after the 2008 season, Bobby has been the television voice of the team and appears on Soccer Today, a soccer-themed show on 103.3 ESPN Saturday mornings.
Drew Moor Traded to Colorado for Ugo Ihemelu in 2009, Drew has been a mainstay of the back four for MLS champions Colorado Rapids. Drew has played in every minute for 24 of the 25 Colorado games this season adding two goals and an assist.
Greg Vanney Vanney joined FC Dallas in 2005 after a career in France and was a mainstay at center back and right back for FCD. He was traded to Colorado in 2007 and bounced around a bit before retiring after the 2008 season. Vanney has remained extremely active in the soccer community having led the RSL youth academy in Arizona before leaving to join Robin Fraser's staff at Chivas USA as an assistant coach. You're likely to see Vanney at just about any high-level soccer game in Southern California.
Chris Gbandi Gbandi, the #1 draft pick in 2002, was the FCD starting left back from 2003-2007 before leaving to join Norwegian side FK Haugesund. He returned to the United States last season to play for second division side Miami FC before retiring this off-season to join the coaching staff at his alma mater UCONN Huskies.
Abe Thompson Abe Thompson spent four relatively productive seasons in Dallas as a striker and remains the club's all-time leading US Open Cup scorer. Since getting traded to Kansas City in 2008, Thompson has fallen out of the league, joining Miami FC last season and currently plays for Fort Lauderdale Strikers
Ronnie O'Brien The crazy Irishman spent five seasons in Dallas even garnering an MLS Best XI award in 2005. ROB was traded to Toronto after the 2006 season and had two fairly unproductive years in the league before retiring and moving back to Dallas. He spends most of his time on the golf course these days and also coaches for FCD Youth.
Richard Mulrooney Mulrooney, a right back for FC Dallas, spent nearly all his time playing for the Houston Dynamo after leaving Dallas. He won an MLS Cup with them, his third in the league, and retired after the 2010 season. I can't find any more information on what he's up to.
Simo Valakari Valakari spent three good seasons in Dallas as a midfield destroyer, scoring just one goal. The Finnish midfielder returned to his homeland after leaving Dallas and currently coaches kids at Kapylan Pallo, a Finnish third division side. He was recently back in Dallas and led the march to the match before a game this season.
Carlos Ruiz Pescadito has had a very interesting career track since leaving Dallas. The team's third all-time leading scorer, Ruiz has been to Paraguay, Mexico, Greece and back to MLS with Philadelphia before just recently returning to Mexico with second division side Veracruz. I was pleasantly surprised at his MLS play this season as he seemed to clean up his game a lot. It's amazing this guy is only 31.
Marcelo Saragosa Traded to Chivas USA for Atiba Harris in one of the most one-sided trades in recent history, Saragosa has kind of fallen off the map recently. According to wikipedia, he's plying his trade in Azerbaijan right now for a club called Ravan Baku, but who knows how accurate that is.
Arturo Alvarez Artie currently plays for Real Salt Lake and scored in their reserve division match in Frisco yesterday. He is a full member of the El Salvador national team and gets called in on most occasions. He's still only an MLS level sub no matter how much coaches want to think otherwise.
Ramon Nunez Since leaving MLS, Ramon bounced around between Honduran and Mexican teams but seems to have found a home in the unlikely spot of Leeds, England. After going on loan last season to lowly Scunthorpe United and keeping them up, Nunez looks to be solidifying a spot for the famous English side. He qualifies for a work permit due to his regular play for the Honduran national team and scored twice in last night's 3-2 Carling Cup win over Bradford City.
Kenny Cooper I'm sure I don't have to tell you what Kenny Cooper is up to, but since leaving 1860 Munich he has found a home at Portland Timbers. Rumored to be on the way to Dallas a few weeks ago, Cooper scored for the Timbers on Saturday at San Jose and has 4 goals in 22 games for the Portland side.
Mark Wilson The English midfielder was an interesting player for Dallas. He certainly seemed to have something but could never nail down a starting job. After bouncing around for years, including his time in Dallas, Wilson seems to have found a home at Doncaster Rovers of the English Championship. Except for a small time loan at Tranmere Rovers, Wilson has remained at Donny since moving there in 2006 with over 100 games played for the club.