In our first part of FCD 101, we will discuss the clubs history and top past players. By no means is this an in depth look into the club and everything it has been and done, but more of a primer to allow you to understand where the club has come from, some of its best players, as well as where it wants to go in the future. If you would like more information about the club than is provided, let us know in the comment sections and we can point you in the right direction.
FC Dallas was one of the initial ten franchises to play in the first year of MLS, in 1996. At the time, they were known as the Dallas Burn, and played their matches at the Cotton Bowl. Early on, FC Dallas were a decent team. They won their first trophy in 1997, by defeating the previous year’s MLS champions, DC United in the US Open Cup (USOC).
The team continued playing at the Cotton Bowl until 2003. The following year, the team played their home games at Dragon Stadium, in Southlake Carroll. That season was a disappointment, which had become a consistent theme for the team at this point. In 2004, the Dallas Burn returned to the Cotton Bowl to play their final season before it took part in a rebranding.
In 2005, FC Dallas was born, as was their new home in Toyota Stadium (then known as Pizza Hut Park). Since their time in Frisco, FC Dallas has been in three US Open Cup championships, winning one in 2016. They also got to MLS Cup in 2010, losing to the Colorado Rapids in extra, on an own goal. The match took place in Toronto, in December and from the bootleg feed I was watching the game on, it looked miserably cold. Fun fact about that match, Atiba Harris, one of FC Dallas’ current starting fullbacks, was a striker on that team.
Since becoming a franchise in 1996, the FC Dallas franchise has won three total league trophies. They have won two US Open Cup championships (1997, 2016) and one Supporters Shield title (2016). (If you are confused by the different competitions, go check out the article explaining the different MLS competitions.)
The club has also won four youth national championship from their academy teams. The U18s won in 2012, 2016 and the U16s won in 2015, 2016.
It was announced in 2015 that US Soccer Hall of Fame was coming to FC Dallas. Dan Hunt, the president of FC Dallas announced that with the HOF coming to Toyota Stadium, the stadium was going to have some renovations done to it as well. The facelift to Toyota Stadium is scheduled to be finished by 2017 and hopefully will add a modern touch to the facility.
Bobby Rhine was drafted by FC Dallas in the first round of the 1999 MLS SuperDraft. Bobby was a fan favorite who made 212 appearances for the club from 1999-2008. During that time, he scored 23 goals and added another 33 assists. He started his career as a midfielder but was versatile enough to move back to defense later on in his career. Once Rhine retired, he slid into the commentators booth where he did color commentary from 2008-2011. In 2011, Bobby Rhine passed away while vacationing with his family. FC Dallas has hung his name and number up around the stadium to remember Bobby the player and more importantly, the person. You can see one of the banners outside the west side of the stadium, BR19.
Jason Kreis is the FC Dallas all-time leader in appearances (247), goals (91), assists (65). He was drafted in the fifth round, 45th overall, (remember there weren’t a lot of teams in the league back then) in 1995, leading up to opening season in MLS. He went on to score the first goal in FC Dallas history. In 1999 Jason scored 15 goals and added 15 assists as well. On the strength of the first 15/15 season in league history, Kreis went on to win the league MVP. Kreis was traded to Real Salt Lake in 2004 and was the all time leading scorer in MLS at the time. He since lost that title but will live in FC Dallas lore forever.
David Ferreira was loaned to FC Dallas in 2009 on a two year loan deal. In his second year with the team, he lead the team to their only MLS Cup final. Ferreira scored their only goal in the match that ended with FC Dallas conceding an own goal in the extra time loss. Ferreira also ended up winning the team’s second MVP that year. During the 2010 campaign, he had eight goals and 13 assists and was an extremely dangerous playmaker.
Once Ferreira's loan option expired, FC Dallas ended up purchasing him on a three year contract. Ferreira had a season ending knee injury in 2011 and was really never able to get back to his MVP form.
In 2016, FC Dallas signed David’s son, Jesus Ferreira to a pro contract from their academy.
Pareja came to Dallas in 1998 after a trade with NE Revolution. He quickly became a mainstay in the midfield and held that position until 2005. During his time playing with Dallas in the midfield, he accumulated 13 goals and 52 assists in 189 total games. Once he retired from playing, Pareja slid into an assistant coaching role with the team. Pareja stayed in this role for two years before leaving to coach with the US U17s national team at the IMG Soccer Academy. He stayed there for a year and then returned home to FC Dallas as the director and head coach of the academy. Pareja was recognized for the success of the academy and was name the U18 coach of the year in 2010-2011.
In 2012, Pareja became the head coach of Colorado and lead them to the playoffs in 2013. The following year he returned home once more and has been the manager ever since. While leading the team, FC Dallas has made the playoffs in all three seasons and made it to the Western Conference final in 2015. Also, he lead FC Dallas to their first trophy in 20 years as they won two pieces of silverware in 2016. On top of the successful 2016, Pareja won MLS Coach of the Year.
Fun fact about Oscar Pareja, he played soccer in Pablo Escobar’s prison with Escobar. You can search and find interviews of him talking about it.
FC Dallas is a franchise with a rich history. Not a rich history of winning, but a rich history of quality players who have come and gone and went on to still be in the game in different capacities. A lot of times, when people look back at FCD’s history, it’s with a bit more cynicism. In the past, FCD wasn’t a team that was willing to spend money on big players, but instead, was willing to take chances on unknown players. Sometimes it worked out, others it didn’t. The lack of winning wore on fans, which is understandable.
In the last five years or so, FCD has been the model franchise in the way they run their team. Between Pareja, Fernando Clavijo (technical director/GM) and Dan Hunt, they have turned this organization into a team that uses young, homegrown players, unknown South American players and smart draft picks to build one of the best rosters in the league. Hopefully, if this trend continues, FCD has the potential to be a really good team for the foreseeable future.
Obviously there isn’t enough time nor space to cover all the points or even key players from FCD’s history. If you would like more information on anything, let us know. We would be more than happy to point you in the right direction.