FRISCO, Texas - With the 2021 MLS SuperDraft starting a week from today, it's a perfect time to look back at a few of FC Dallas' best moments from past SuperDrafts. Here are five top moments from FCD draft history.
5. Francis Atuahene
One of FC Dallas’ more recent draft picks, Francis Atuahene gave a moving speech after being selected in the first round of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. Atuahene spoke about his journey from Ghana and the Right to Dream Academy to the University of Michigan, and finally to being the fourth overall pick in that year’s draft. Atuahene was on loan to various USL Championship teams for the majority of his three-year FCD career but his outstanding draft speech is definitely among the best moments from recent MLS SuperDrafts.
4. Ryan Hollingshead
Although Ryan Hollingshead was drafted 20th overall by FCD 2013, he declined the club’s offer in order to fulfill a promise to his brother to help build a church in their hometown of Sacramento. Once the build was complete, however, Hollingshead returned to soccer and signed with FC Dallas in 2014. Since then, the versatile Hollingshead has helped the club win the Supporters’ Shield and Open Cup double in 2016 and was named MLS Humanitarian of the Year in 2017. Since locking down the left back position under Luchi Gonzalez's tenure, Hollingshead has established himself as one of the most dangerous attacking fullbacks in MLS.
3. Bobby Rhine
The iconic Bobby Rhine was drafted sixth overall in 1999 and went on to rack up 225 MLS appearances, scoring 25 goals along the way. Rhine’s versatility and tireless work ethic made him a fan favorite in Dallas over his 10-year playing career, and his dedication to the community – as both a youth coach and broadcaster – further cements him as an FC Dallas legend. The club as a whole was shaken to its core when Rhine tragically passed away in 2011 at the age of 35, but his legend will always live on in Dallas. Rhine’s jersey number, 19, is hung proudly on the north side of Toyota Stadium to honor his legacy and commemorate the contributions he made both on and off the field.
2. Matt Hedges
Defensive stalwart Matt Hedges was chosen 11th overall in 2012 and has gone to become one of FCD’s best-ever players. A three-time MLS All-Star, Hedges arguably had his best season in 2016 as he led Dallas to a cup double and was named the league’s Defender of the Year. Last season, he even passed fellow club legend Jason Kreis for most MLS appearances in franchise history. With his impressive resume, Hedges is undoubtedly one of the best MLS draft picks in recent years.
1. Jason Kreis
Jason Kreis is the definition of a draft steal. Selected in the fifth round (43rd overall) in the inaugural MLS draft in 1996, Kreis recorded the club’s first-ever goal and led the team in scoring as a rookie over the likes of superstar Hugo Sánchez. But his contributions obviously didn’t end there. He helped Dallas win its first trophy in 1997 and was the league MVP in 1999 after tallying 18 goals and 15 assists. Although he left after the 2004 season, Kreis Dallas' all-time top scorer. Considering those accolades and his late draft position, Kreis deserves the No. 1 spot in this list of FCD’s top draft moments.