Moor's unique path leads back to Dallas
He grew up a diehard Dallas Burn and FC Dallas fan. He has a stack of Jason Kreis’ Dallas Burn trading cards, which he collected as a kid. He was even at the first-ever Dallas Burn match in 1996 against San Jose and has made it to at least six games a year ever since.
He’ll also be at MLS Cup in Toronto as FC Dallas play their first MLS championship final after 15 long years on Sunday (7:30 pm CT, ESPN).
But Drew Moor won’t be at BMO Field as a fan. Instead, his mission will be to help the Colorado Rapids shatter those title dreams for the city he grew up in and the club he once captained.
“Since I’ve come to Colorado, we have played Dallas three times in regular season games and those are some of the hardest games I’ve ever prepared for in my life,” Moor told MLSsoccer.com. “For the simple reason that I was there for five years and felt like a big part of the club and supported them before that.”
FC Dallas selected Moor with the sixth overall pick in the 2005 SuperDraft, and he went on to play 123 regular season matches for his hometown club.
Moor even played for one year under current FCD manager Schellas Hyndman before he was shipped to Colorado along with cash and a draft pick in an August 2009 trade which allowed Ugo Ihemelu to rejoin Hyndman, his former SMU head coach.
“It was a very, very difficult moment,” FC Dallas assistant coach John Ellinger said. “He was a great locker room guy, one of our leaders in the locker room and on the field and somebody who always gives you 100-plus percent.
“But if there was a way to improve our speed in the back,” Ellinger added, “we had to take the opportunity to try and do that.”
Ihemelu was taken one pick ahead of Moor in the same 2005 draft and, like Moor, could also play at center back or fullback. But Ihemelu’s speed and his history with Hyndman gave him the edge.
Although Moor grew up five minutes from the SMU campus and even attended Mustangs matches, he was not heavily recruited by Hyndman’s program. Instead he went to Furman and then Indiana, where he won NCAA titles in 2003 and 2004.
The move to Colorado in 2009 caught Moor by surprise, and his parents took it the hardest. The trade had already gone down when the defender was called into Hyndman’s office.
“It was tough to sit and listen to it,” Moor said. “But I have to feel that Schellas had a ton of respect for me. … But it’s soccer, it’s the sports industry. It’s the business.”
Moor confessed that in each of the matches he’s played against FC Dallas since then, he has always vowed to refrain from celebrating a goal. He says that Sunday will not be any different should he find the back of the net.
But although Moor will show respect to a club that he says remains close to his heart, it will not take away from his desire to win his first MLS Cup title and show FC Dallas that last year’s trade was a mistake.
“This is an MLS Cup championship and I’m going to be very selfish and I’m going to want that trophy myself,” Moor said. “No matter how it came about, they [FC Dallas] kind of showed me the door on my way out. … It will be extra special and I definitely want to get them.”