FC Dallas Profile
|Major Honours||US Open Cup (2), MLS Supporters' Shield (1)|
FC Dallas are one of the original teams of Major League Soccer, having been founded in 1995 ahead of the 1996 inaugural season.
They were known as the Dallas Burn for their first decade in existence and played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Since 2004, they have been known as FC Dallas and the team moved into Toyota Park, a soccer-specific stadium in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, in 2005.
The Burn were founded by Lamar Hunt, owner of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. They are currently owned by the Hunt Sports Group and run by Lamar's sons Clark and Dan. Dan serves as the team president.
Dallas have never won an MLS Cup, finishing as runners-up in 2010, but they did win the Supporters' Shield in 2016. They have won the US Open Cup twice, as the Burn in 1997 and as FC Dallas in 2016.
The team is nicknamed the Toros. When they started as the Burn, they played in red and black, and the logo featured a fire-breathing mustang. With the move to Toyota Stadium, the group rebranded as FC Dallas and added colours. The official colours are now Republic Red, Lonestar White, Bovine Blue and Shawnee Silver. Red is still the primary colour for the home kit, with blue featured on the away kit. The new crest features a bull with '96' above its head and the Texas star below the bull's mouth.
Players like Jason Kreis, Maxi Urruti, Kellyn Acosta, Denilson, Eddie Johnson, Dax McCarty, Brek Shea and Walker Zimmerman have all featured for the team. FC Dallas have also successfully developed players and sold them to European teams, including Weston McKennie, Chris Richards, Reggie Cannon, Rogelio Funes Mori and Jose Ramiro Funes Mori.
The early years
While not in the initial announcement of original teams, Dallas was awarded an MLS franchise on June 6, 1995, along with Kansas City and Colorado. The team name was the Burn to reflect the hot weather in Texas as well as the burning oil fields. Former Mexico international Hugo Sanchez was signed as the first player and Dave Dir was hired as the first manager.
The Burn debuted on April 14, 1996, in front of 27,779 fans at the Cotton Bowl and won in a penalty shootout over San Jose. Jason Kreis scored their first goal on April 19 in a 3-0 win over Kansas City. The Burn won 17 games in their first season, finishing in second place in the Western Conference. In the best-of-three play-off series, they fell to Kansas City in three games with a shootout loss in the final match. Dallas scored two goals in each game of the series but didn't advance. Kreis led the team with 13 goals and Mark Dodd was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
In 1997, the Burn finished third in the Western Conference in the regular season. They won their first play-off series, sweeping LA Galaxy in the first round as they won a shootout in California before winning 3-0 at home. In the Western Conference finals, they lost to Colorado Rapids 1-0 and 2-1, thus being eliminated. Alain Sutter was the MLS Player of the Month in May and Dante Washington led the Burn with 11 goals over the season.
Dallas also earned their first title in 1997, claiming the US Open Cup. They beat the New York/New Jersey MetroStars 2-1 in the semi-finals with a goal from Jorge Flores in the 103rd minute. In the final, the game against D.C. United was goalless after 120 minutes and Jorge Rodriguez converted the winning penalty kick for a 5-3 triumph.
The 1998 campaign saw the Burn make the MLS play-offs for a third straight season as they finished fourth in the West. In the play-offs, they were routed in the first round by LA Galaxy with a 6-1 away loss and a 3-2 home loss.
Dallas nearly finished at the top of the Western Conference in 1999 as they amassed 51 points, just three fewer than LA Galaxy. In the first round of the play-offs, they played a fantastic series against Chicago Fire. Dallas won the first game at home 2-1 before losing 4-0 in Chicago. In the deciding game, Dallas conceded two goals in the first three minutes in front of a stunned home crowd. Chad Deering then scored in the 55th minute and Dallas tied the game with a penalty kick in the 84th minute. Two minutes later, Ariel Graziani won the game and the series with his second goal. The Burn and LA Galaxy split the first two games of the Western Conference finals as Graziani scored in both games. However, the Galaxy then won the deciding game 3-1 to end the Burn's season. Kries tied for the MLS lead with 18 goals over the course of the campaign and was named MLS MVP.
Dallas made it five straight play-off seasons in 2000 as they finished third in the newly-formed Central Division. In the first play-off series, they were swept by the MetroStars and Dir was fired despite going five-for-five in play-off appearances during his tenure.
The last years as the Burn
Mike Jeffries took over as the new Burn coach after winning the MLS title with Chicago Fire. The 2001 regular season was cut short after the September 11 attacks and the play-offs were played after a delay. The Burn lost in three games to the Fire with a 2-0 away defeat in the decider.
In 2002, the Burn made the play-offs for a seventh straight season as they finished third overall in the regular season. They won the first game against Colorado Rapids 4-2 but lost game two on the road 1-0. The deciding game in Dallas was tied after regulation and the Burn lost through a sudden-death goal.
The team moved out of the Cotton Bowl in 2003 and played their home games at Dragon Stadium in Southlake, Texas. With the team on the verge of missing the play-offs for the first time, Jeffries was fired on September 15. His assistant Colin Clarke took over, but the team still finished in last place.
The team returned to the Cotton Bowl in 2004, but the Burn again missed the play-offs. However, the biggest news from that year was the August announcement of a new team name and a new stadium.
The FC Dallas era begins
The rebrand to FC Dallas took place ahead of the 2005 season and the team started the campaign at the Cotton Bowl. Guatemalan forward Carlos Ruiz was signed from LA Galaxy and Clarke was retained as full-time manager. The team moved into Pizza Hut Park (now Toyota Park) in Frisco in August and drew their first game there on August 6 against the MetroStars. Dallas returned to the play-offs with a second-place finish in the West. They again lost to Colorado Rapids in the play-offs with a 0-0 draw in the first leg and a shootout loss in the second leg. Ruiz led the team with 11 regular-season goals over the season and scored both play-off goals for FC Dallas.
The 2006 MLS regular season was a success, with 16 wins and 52 points from 32 games. The Toros finished first in the West for the first time but again couldn't get past the Colorado Rapids.
Clarke was fired after the play-off defeat and former Arsenal midfielder Steve Morrow took over for the 2007 season. FC Dallas finished third in the Western Conference and faced second seeds Houston Dynamo in the play-offs. The Toros won the first game 1-0 but dropped the second game 4-1 and were eliminated. They also made a run to the US Open Cup final but lost 3-2 to the New England Revolution.
The 2008 season ended without a play-off appearance after Morrow had been fired in May. Marco Peruzzi served as interim manager for a month before FC Dallas brought in college coach Schellas Hyndman to take over. Overall, Dallas won just eight games all season, missing out on the play-offs by four points.
Hyndman takes Dallas close to the title
After a successful 24-year run at nearby Southern Methodist University, Hyndman took the Toros into the 2009 season. His first campaign ended without a play-off appearance after a 2-1 loss at Seattle in the regular-season finale. That defeat left FC Dallas just one point outside the final play-off spot.
They bounced back in 2010 with a fantastic season that included hosting a friendly against Inter Milan in August. From June 5 through September 4, they won a team-record six straight home games and overall played an MLS-record 19 straight unbeaten from May 27 through October 9. They also set an MLS record of 13 straight away games unbeaten.
The Toros finished second to the Galaxy in the West and qualified for the 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League. In the MLS Cup play-offs, they beat Real Salt Lake 3-2 on aggregate in the first round and upset LA Galaxy 3-0 in the Western Conference finals. In their first-ever MLS Cup final, FC Dallas faced their play-off nemesis, the Colorado Rapids, in Toronto. David Ferreira (pictured) put the Toros on top in the 35th minute, but the Colorado Rapids tied the game in the 57th minute. A devastating own goal in the 108th minute by George John cost Dallas the title in a 2-1 defeat.
Hyndman was named the 2010 MLS Coach of the Year and Ferreira was named MLS MVP. He played all but one minute of the entire season while on loan from Athletico Paranaense in Brazil. The Toros were the last of the original MLS teams to make an MLS Cup final.
Ferreira returned to Brazil before the 2011 season. FC Dallas beat Alianza FC from El Salvador in the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round to make it to the group stage. Marvin Chavez scored to beat UNAM in the group stage, making FC Dallas the first MLS team to win in Mexico in the Champions League. They finished third in the group and didn't advance thanks to a 3-0 home loss to Toronto FC. In MLS play, the Toros finished fourth in the West and lost in the first play-off game to New York Red Bulls 2-0.
The team missed the play-offs in both 2012 and 2013. After the 2013 season, Hyndman resigned as manager.
Pareja delivers success to Dallas
FC Dallas tempted former player Oscar Pareja away from Colorado Rapids to be their new manager. He led the Toros back into the play-offs with a fourth-place finish in the West in 2014. In the Wild Card round, they beat Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 at home with goals from Tesho Akindele and Michel. In the conference semi-finals, they drew 1-1 and 0-0 against Seattle Sounders, losing on away goals.
FC Dallas won the Western Conference regular season in 2015 and entered the play-offs as the top seed in the West. They beat Seattle in the first round as Walker Zimmerman scored in the 90th minute of the second leg and then converted the deciding penalty kick in the shootout. In the conference finals, they were eliminated by Portland Timbers 5-3 on aggregate after losing the opening game 3-1 on the road.
The 2016 season was the greatest in FC Dallas' history. They won 17 games, tied nine, and secured the Supporters' Shield with 60 points. In the 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League, they made it out of the group stage for the first time with wins over Nicaragua's Real Esteli and Guatemala's C.D. Suchitepequez. In the US Open Cup, they had to go to a shootout to beat Oklahoma City in the fourth round before defeating the Colorado Rapids in overtime in the last 16. A 90th-minute goal from Fabian Castillo beat Houston Dynamo in the quarter-finals, while Victor Ulloa's 120th-minute goal beat LA Galaxy in the semi-finals. FC Dallas hosted the US Open Cup final and they got two goals from Maxi Urruti to help beat New England 4-2 and lift the trophy.
The only downside to the season was a first-round exit in the MLS Cup play-offs, despite being the top overall seed. FC Dallas were shocked at Seattle 3-0 in the first leg, and despite winning the second leg 2-1, they were eliminated on aggregate.
In 2017, they started the season with the Champions League quarter-finals and knocked out Panama's Arabe Unido 5-2 on aggregate. They won the opening game 4-0 before losing in Panama City 2-1. In the semi-finals, FC Dallas beat Pachuca 2-1 in the first leg at home but were eliminated after a 3-1 loss in Mexico in the second leg. In the MLS season, Dallas missed the play-offs with a seventh-place finish in the West.
In 2018, the Toros returned to the play-offs but lost their last three games of the regular season and dropped to fourth spot in the West. The slide continued in the post-season with a 2-1 opening-game loss to Portland Timbers. In the Champions League, they were eliminated in the preliminary round on away goals by Panama's Tauro FC. Pareja left after the season to take the managerial job with Club Tijuana in Liga MX.
Luchi Gonzalez takes over
Academy director Luchi Gonzalez (pictured) took over as manager for the 2019 season. Among the players guided by Gonzalez in the academy were Weston McKennie and Reggie Cannon. They added Bryan Acosta as a Designated Player before the 2019 season began and made the play-offs with a seventh-place finish in the West. Acosta scored twice in the first-round game, but FC Dallas lost at Seattle 4-3 through a goal in the 113th minute.
The 2020 season was interrupted by COVID-19, and FC Dallas didn't get to play in the MLS is Back Tournament because of a team outbreak. They sold Cannon to Boavista in Portugal during the season but rallied to make the MLS play-offs with a sixth-place finish in the West. They upset Portland in the first round, 8-7 in a penalty shootout, before losing at Seattle 1-0 in the Western Conference semi-finals.
FC Dallas' rivals
The Chicago Fire are the oldest rivals of FC Dallas. The teams play for the Brimstone Cup, named after the Fire and the Burn. Dallas have won 18 of the 35 encounters, with five draws. Dallas won the cup for 10 straight seasons between 2002 and 2011 before the Fire had a four-season streak of their own. Since then, the cup has switched hands every season.
The newest rivalry is the Texas Derby, which started in 2006 when the Houston Dynamo joined MLS. Houston claimed victory in the first meeting 4-3 and won five of the first eight clashes between the teams, including a 2006 US Open Cup game. Houston also eliminated Dallas from the 2007 MLS Cup play-offs with a 4-1 win. Dallas won seven straight match-ups between 2013 and 2015, including two games in the US Open Cup. The teams played five consecutive draws in 2017 and 2018, forming part of a nine-match unbeaten run in the fixture for Dallas.
FC Dallas will have a new rival in 2021 when Austin FC join the league, giving Texas a third MLS team.
FC Dallas' top players
FC Dallas have not had many major USMNT or international stars.
Jason Kreis is the leading goalscorer with 99 goals from 1996-2004. After Kreis, only Kenny Cooper has surpassed 50 goals for Dallas.
FC Dallas have developed a number of young players who have moved on to other MLS sides or Europe. Most notable are Walker Zimmerman, who made 89 appearances for FC Dallas and who now plays for Nashville SC, and Reggie Cannon (67 appearances), who plays for Boavista.
Two of FC Dallas' academy stars have also moved on to big clubs - Weston McKennie is now at Juventus, while Chris Richards plays for Bayern Munich.