FRISCO - December has turned to January and another year has begun anew, meaning it's SuperDraft season once again on the MLS calendar.
As all 23 teams (welcome to the fun, LAFC) converge on Philadelphia, they'll be looking to find the diamond in the rough among the best college players in the U.S. Dallas has had a lot of success finding key roster components in recent years, but let's count down the best SuperDraft picks in FCD history:
5. Tesho Akindele - 2014 (1st Round, 6th Overall)
It's no easy feat to make an immediate impact on a modern MLS roster during your rookie season, especially for a relative unknown coming into the combine like Tesho Akindele - but that's exactly what the 2014 Rookie of the Year did. Coming from a Division II school, it was a stroke of luck that Oscar Pareja had seen him play during his time in Colorado and was in a position to take the forward with a high pick after a strong showing at the combine. In each of his four pro seasons, Tesho has hit at least 25 appearances, 1,500 minutes and 4 goals.
4. Walker Zimmerman - 2012 (1st Round, 7th Overall)
The former FCD defender made his mark on the club long after his 2012 selection, bursting onto the scene with his heroic performance against Seattle in the 2015 playoffs and then turning full-time starter in 2016. Even though 2017 was a downward tick on the 24-year-old's trajectory, he's starting fresh with LAFC in 2018 and FCD was able to turn a profit of $500K in combined allocation money and the No. 1 allocation spot in exchange for their first-round pick six years ago.
3. Zach Loyd - 2010 (1st Round, 5th Overall)
Almost from the moment he was drafted, Zach Loyd was a mainstay on the FC Dallas defense. In seven seasons before being selected in the 2016 Expansion Draft, Loyd started 168 games for the club and appeared in 12 more - the third-most appearances by a player in club history. From 2011-2015, Loyd played at least 2100 minutes in each season. He missed the second half of 2016 recovering from a concussion and never recovered during his season in Atlanta, but Loyd still remains one of FCD's all-time best SuperDraft steals.
2. Matt Hedges - 2012 (1st Round, 11th Overall)
Locally, Dallas fans have known the greatness that is Matt Hedges, but he took his fame nationally in 2016 earning Defender of the Year honors and a call-up to U.S. National Team Camp last January. A mid-round pick in 2012 out of North Carolina, Hedges did not miss more than one consecutive match for the club from his first start on May 9, 2012 until he was sidelined for seven games in April of 2016. At just 26 years old and signed through the 2020 season last season, Hedges will continue to hold down the back line for many years to come.
1. Dominic Oduro - 2006 (2nd Round, 22nd Overall)
Although the 22nd overall pick in the 2018 SuperDraft will be a first-round selection, in 2006 FC Dallas found Dominic Oduro as a second round steal. In just three seasons in Frisco, the MLS journeyman scored 9 goals in 70 games, but his career as a whole is what earns him the top spot on this list. With 336 games played now under his belt, Oduro has 63 goals, 32 assists and nearly 20,000 minutes played since being taken by Dallas. Only 10 players have more goals than the now 32-year-old in that time.
Jason Kreis - 1996 (5th Round, 43rd Overall)
Bobby Rhine - 1999 (1st Round, 6th Overall)
Jason Kreis is the franchise leader in every major category (goals, assists, games played, shots, shots on goal, fouls committed, etc.) and Bobby Rhine is right behind him with 212 games played and an even larger role in the club as a whole. Both were incredible selections for the club, but neither, however, were taken in the SuperDraft. Kreis was selected in the first-ever, and only, MLS Draft where each team selected the entirety of their roster - and he had already played three seasons in USL before the draft. Rhine was taken in the 1999 College Draft, which for all intents and purposes is essentially the SuperDraft, but was not named as such until 2000.