For the last couple of weeks during this weird COVID-19 life in quarantine that we’re all living across the globe, we’ve seen some sites do a Mount Rushmore for their respective clubs and we thought it was high time that we put together one for FC Dallas.
Our team voted and came up with three pretty obvious names for the foursome and a slight debate for the final slot. In the end, we opted to show you who all got votes and some comments for each of them.
Let us know how we did and who you’d put in your FC Dallas Mount Rushmore below in the comments section.
Papi was our only unanimous pick here as he was a legend off and on the field for the club over the years. As a player, he tallied 13 goals and 47 assists in a Dallas uniform before hanging up his boots in 2005. He then went on to help establish one of the United State’s best academy systems before becoming a head coach in Colorado in 2011. He led the Rapids to a massive turnaround, going went 25-31-13 over two seasons before returning home to Frisco.
Pareja had a MLS record of 76-30-43 in four seasons, as well as an 10-2-2 record in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and 4-2-2 record in CONCACAF Champions League play. He led the team to a MLS-first back-to-back 60 point seasons in 2015 and 2016, along with a double in 2016 that brought home a second US Open Cup trophy and the club’s first Supporters’ Shield.
Before coming to Dallas, Papi had been capped numerous with the Colombia National Team and played at Pablo Escobar’s notorious house arrest match. He went on to be one of the all-time leaders in several statistical categories for the Burn/FC Dallas. He then bested his career as a player as the architect of FC Dallas’s world renowned Academy program and then delivered two trophies for the club in 2016. To this day, he’s the only manager in MLS history to lead clubs to back to back 60 point seasons. - Ben Lyon
Oscar Pareja earned my vote for the FC Dallas Mt Rushmore for a couple of reasons. He was a great player for the team, ending his time with something like 52 assists across seven seasons. Incredible. Then, after a brief stint with the Colorado Rapids as head coach, he returned to the team that shaped him and helped shape it back. Truly, Pareja was the bridge from FC Dallas of old into a new multi-year re-envisioning of the club around its fertile youth academy. Pareja was one of the first head coaches in MLS that truly trusted their youngsters and was able to coach great things out of other team’s cast offs. Victor Ulloa’s improbable rise is just one example of Pareja developing a youngster who in years past would have been jettisoned out of MLS too quickly. FC Dallas would not be who it is and who it is becoming without Pareja’s imprint. - Nathan Hill
No coach has had more success in their tenure with FC Dallas than Oscar Pareja. Our Mount Rushmore couldn’t be complete without “Papi.” Truly one of our own, both a general between the lines and youth whisperer off of it. In his five seasons at the helm of the team he imparted his “Busca la Forma” mentality. He preached resiliency and self-determination and won Dallas’ first trophy in a decade because of it. - Jack Rouse
Kreis was also nearly an unanimous selection by our squad. During his time in Frisco from 1996 to 2005, he quickly became one of the league’s best goal scorers. He still holds the all-time club number in goals with 99 (across all competitions). The next guy up on that all-time list has about half of that total. He was the first American-born player in MLS to earn a MVP award, which he picked up in 1999 after recording the league’s first 15 goal, 15 assist seasons.
Jason Kreis, absolute legend for the club since inception. Scored the very first goal for in Dallas franchise history in 1996. Not just that, but he’s still the franchise leader in games played (247), goals(91) and assists (65). Without a doubt deserves to be on that mountain, I’d even argue the first head etched into that mountain. - Ryan Scanlon
Jason Kreis wasn’t just a club legend, he was also one for the entire league. Kreis won the MVP trophy in 1999, just one of the two in club history and was the most consistent offensive force for the Dallas Burn during the early years. He scored a total of 99 goals (across all competitions) for the Burn, and nobody’s come even remotely close to that clip (Kenny Cooper is second with 52). Though his connection with FC Dallas has faded over the years, he’s still one of the very best to ever don the Hoops. - Jason Poon
Jason Kreis is the guy who I think of when I remember the Dallas Burn. First goal, tons of goals, lead the league in scoring (he and Jeff Cunningham are the only club members to have done so), won an MVP and is the all-time club goal scorer, points getter and assists man. The guy could do it all. His leaving the club was disappointing, trading away arguably our best player, but the success he had with RSL was something I took pride in, as he was an OG of the club. I still cheer for the guy when he’s coaching (albeit not against FC Dallas). Jason Kreis scored the first goal for the club, lead the club to success early on, and will forever be the guy who dominated games and really changed defenses with his ability to both score and create for others. - Jeff Loftin
In terms of a legacy with the club, there may not be anyone on the same level as Rhine. The former Dallas player and broadcaster, passed away suddenly on Sept. 5, 2011. He is remembered as one of the most important figures in club history, leaving his mark through his achievements on the field (212 games played, 23 goals and 34 assists) and off the field in the broadcasting booth.
When I think of a Mount Rushmore for FCD, it kind of starts with Bobby Rhine and Oscar Pareja. Nothing says legacy with the club like those two men. Maybe one day someone like Matt Hedges and Luchi Gonzalez will surpass them in my mind as the club’s all-time legacy guys but for now, it is them. - Drew Epperley
Bobby Rhine (RIP) epitomized the aura of FC Dallas that nobody else does, barring Oscar Pareja. He was everything you wanted in a player - tough, smart, determined, hard working, sacrificial. Rhine wasn’t the flashiest of the players, but the man had grit and the fans could appreciate the unsung work that Rhine put in every minute he was out on the pitch. Of course, he is now immortalized by his #19 number which will be an incredible tradition for generations to come. - Jason Poon
Bobby Rhine was a versatile player and fan favorite. His career spanned over 200 games with the Burn (and FC Dallas after the name change) and he was a wonderful example of early MLS passion and dedication. When I first started really watching MLS he was on the team, having been drafted in 1999. Though the games were not regularly televised in my hometown, there were occasional regional broadcasts that I would see and Bobby was seemingly always sprinting up and down the field, whether in midfield or defense. His passing nearly 9 years ago was a tragedy and his legacy with the club as a player will live on, but his legacy as a person will shine forever. - Jeff Loftin
The only player on our Mount Rushmore from the modern ear of MLS is Hedges. The veteran defender has been a staple with the club since being draft back in 2012. Hedges was named to the MLS Best XI for two consecutive season (2015, 2016) and was honored as the 2016 MLS Defender of the Year. He has been named to the MLS All-Star squad for three consecutive seasons (2017, 2018, 2019) as a coach’s pick and started alongside former FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman this year against Atlético Madrid. Hedges has also received FC Dallas Defender of the Year honors four times (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018) and was named FC Dallas Team MVP in 2018.
Matt is Mr. FC Dallas. By the time he retires, he will have done enough to have his number retired and if he wins MLS Cup he should have a statue outside the stadium of himself. He has been the constant, the rock, the Captain of this team’s best seasons. He was with the club when they were building and starting to add pieces, stayed and helped win some of the biggest games this club has been in and has continue to play well under the next phase of the team. He has essentially been with the team through three different journeys (Schellas, Papi, and Luchi). In all three of those, he was a professional who held the backline together, gave it his all-scoring multiple goals in big games, and was dang good at it. Add on top of it, that he has always been well received by the fans and supporter groups and you have a club legend.
For me, not only does he deserve to be in the top four players FC Dallas has ever had, but also there is a real argument that he could be one or two on that list by the time he retires. - Jared Tilley
Others who came close:
Many will argue for David Ferreira who won the MVP in 2010 and led the club to their only appearance in MLS Cup the same year, but Mauro’s best two season run is at least equal to Ferreira’s, and the club had something to show for it when it was done. He was the talisman for those back to back 60 point seasons, a Supporters’ Shield, and a US Open Cup. In the semifinals and finals of that cup run, Mauro racked up a goal and five assists. Diaz also came back more effectively from his injury and earned the club a transfer fee in 2018. I wouldn’t mind seeing him back at some point. - Ben Lyon
Perennially one of the most underrated players in Major League Soccer and the hardest working, drama free players FC Dallas has ever had, Michael Barrios is still writing his legacy with FC Dallas. He has an opportunity to finish his career here. His 30 goals, 41 assists across MLS career and postseason play in six seasons is phenomenal production for a guy who doesn’t break the bank and for a team that has struggled to find offense. Meanwhile, while the team endured the drama surrounding mercurial players like Fabian Castillo, Brek Shea, and Pablo Aranguiz either not producing, self-destructing, or engineering sudden departures from the club, Michael Barrios goes to work week in and out being dangerous, a great teammate, and a force for FC Dallas’ success. I do think the years to come can cement his place, but I can’t think of a more deserving guy for representing who FC Dallas is and how they can continue to compete against bigger clubs year in and out. - Nathan Hill
David Ferreira, not quite as long of an FCD career as some of the other heads on the mountain but led the team to their only MLS cup appearance on the back of an MVP winning season. Absolutely stunning player pre-injury and some can argue that he could’ve led us back to the promised land had he stayed healthy. The man made a huge impact on this club and I think deserves a place on that mountain. - Ryan Scanlon