FRISCO, Texas - FC Dallas has a bye week so let's have some fun: Let’s breakdown the excellent tifo that fan group El Matador unveiled last weekend. The life-like tifo featured six FC Dallas legends: Oscar Pareja, Bobby Rhine, Matt Hedges, Kenny Cooper, David Ferreira and Jason Kreis.
In case you’re unfamiliar with some of those legends, here’s a quick overview of who they are and why they’ll always be remembered in Dallas.
Oscar Pareja played for Dallas for eight seasons before joining the coaching staff following his playing career. Crucially, he founded the FCD Academy in 2008 which went on become the cornerstone of the club. But that’s not all. Following a coaching stint in Colorado, Pareja returned to become head coach of FCD’s first team and led the club to the U.S Open Cup and Supporters’ Shield double. His influence as a player, administrator and head coach means his influence over the club is unmatched.
Bobby Rhine was a one-club man who played over 200 times for Dallas from 1999 to 2008. Following retirement, Rhine joined the front office as manager of community engagement before becoming the voice of the club’s home broadcasts. An unrivaled fan-favorite, Bobby tragically passed away in 2011 but his work within the community and service to the club means his legacy will always live on in Dallas.
Matt Hedges, who only left FCD following the 2022 season, is the club’s all-time appearance leader after joining via the MLS SuperDraft in 2012. A multi-season club captain, Hedges anchored FCD’s backline during the dominant Pareja years and earned MLS Defender of the Year along the way. He was a quiet leader and arguably the best defender in FCD history. He gave so much to the club over his 11 seasons, you can’t even be mad at him for joining in-state rivals Austin FC midway through the 2023 season. Hedges will always be DTID.
Next up is my personal favorite, Kenny Cooper. A Dallas native, Cooper (son of Dallas Tornado goalkeeper Kenny Cooper Sr.) joined the club in 2006 from the Manchester United reserves and quickly became one of the best strikers in MLS. “Super Cooper” is the club’s second all-time leading scorer and currently serves as an FC Dallas ambassador, supporting everyone around the club from the first team to the fan base.
David Ferreira influence on FCD is only bettered by compatriot Oscar Pareja (explained above). Ferreira joined Dallas initially on loan in 2009 and went on to become the most dangerous creative midfielder in the league. He led FCD to its only MLS Cup appearance in 2010 and was named league MVP along the way. But his influence doesn’t stop there. David brought his eldest son, Jesús, with him to Dallas and the young Ferreira joined the Academy system as an 8-year-old. Fast-forward 14 years and David’s son is FCD’s second all-time top scorer (tied with Kenny Cooper) and a consistent U.S. Men’s National Team player. Thanks, David!
Last but certainly not least, Jason Kreis. He very well might be the best all-around player in club history and many fans aren’t away of his greatness...likely because he only played for Dallas during its Burn era (1996-2004). Kreis is far and away the club’s all-time leading scorer with 91 goals, nearly double the next closest (J. Ferreira and Cooper with 46). He’s the club’s all-time assists leader too with 65. He’s also one of just two Dallas players to win MLS MVP (along with D. Ferreira) after becoming the first American to earn the honor in 1999 following an 18-goal, 15-assist campaign. Kreis helped Dallas win its first-ever trophy, the 1997 U.S. Open Cup, and was named an All-Star three times. His achievements speak for themselves; Kreis is likely the club’s GOAT.