During the temporary suspension of the season, many fans online have expressed sadness in the lack of the beautiful game, which has affected all of the FC Dallas fans.
I thought it would be cool to cover all the best moments in club history, whether it was a single goal in a game or a trophy-winning match.
The Top 10 moments will be covered over the span of the next couple of weeks.
6) Kenny Cooper Goal vs Houston
We’ve already covered one amazing Texas Derby, but the most iconic game in this rivalry has to be the one that occurred early in the 2013 season.
FC Dallas ended up scoring two quick-fire goals in the first half off of two great set pieces and put themselves in a great position to continue to enforce the game. However, after some poor defending late in the second half, FC Dallas ended up losing the lead. It looked like the game was going to end in a draw, which was disappointing considering the great start.
However in the 90th minute, after a desperate ball into the box, Kenny Cooper chested the ball onto his feet and put the ball in the net, effectively ending the match and giving the Boys in Red three points.
That moment became memorable for a couple reasons.
For one, it was one of the most exciting Texas Derby’s that ever had occurred, as it became the 2nd most high scoring rivalry game between the two clubs. But more importantly, the game made Kenny Cooper an icon in the club’s history.
Cooper was an academy player back in the early 2000s but ended up going to Manchester United’s Academy. He returned to the club in 2006 and played 3 great years with the North Texas Club, including his incredible 2008 Season, where he scored 18 goals. He ended up leaving for Germany at the end of that season.
Although not one of the longest-tenured players in the history of the team, his homegrown status coupled with great moments like this match has given him a chapter in the FC Dallas history books.
5) 2015 Playoff Game vs Seattle
FC Dallas left Seattle with a 2-1 loss in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals, which was a pretty good position for the boys to be in, considering how difficult it is to get decent results from CenturyLink Field. Even though it was a loss, an away goal in the playoffs is always extremely valuable.
The match was cagey and disconnected, which is expected for these kinds of high-intensity games. Even though FC Dallas were the better team for 90 minutes, they weren’t able to get anything into the back of the net, mainly due to how good Stefan Frei was on the night (FC Dallas out-shot Seattle 25-10 over the span of 120 minutes).
Tesho Akindele was finally able to open the scoring in the 83rd minute. The goal brought the fans to their feet, as most assumed this goal would let FC Dallas go through to the next round due to away goals. But the fans were heartbroken when Chad Marshall headed in a corner in 90th minute, a goal that would surely put Seattle through
In comes Walker Zimmerman.
But he wasn’t done there. Due to this goal, the game went into penalty kicks. After some amazing saves from Jesse Gonzalez in the penalty shootout, Walker Zimmerman scored the final penalty kicks to give FC Dallas the 4-2 victory on penalty kicks.
This game was insane for so many reasons. First off, no matter what the actual attendance number is, this was one of the most packed matches I’ve seen at Toyota Stadium. I mean, the place was completely filled up. Second off, the goals came in such rapid succession that the rollercoaster of emotions that the game put fans through was awesome. The goals were all scored in a span of 9 minutes.
But more importantly, the game was insane due to the performances of Walker Zimmerman and Jesse Gonzalez. Jesse Gonzalez was pretty good during the match, but there was some anxiety going into the penalty kick shootout. This kid became a starter due to a ton of injuries that occurred during the end of the season, but he was never under the stressful situation that is a penalty kick shootout in a playoff game. But the Homegrown more than stepped up in the moment, saving two penalty kicks.
But Walker Zimmerman stole the show. Last-minute goal. Game-winning penalty kick. Death Glare. All from a substitute that came on late in the match. This game made him transform from a useful draft pick into a fan favorite very quickly. And his performance gave the club its first Conference Final appearance since 2010.
4) Supporters Shield in 2016
The last game of the 2016 regular season wasn’t that awesome: in fact, it was slightly boring from the soccer point of view. But when the final whistle blew, FC Dallas had won the Supporter’s Shield for the first time in club history.
The game was a culmination of what is considered by most to be the best season in club history. After winning a trophy earlier in the year (more on that later), the club ended the season with the most points out of any MLS team, which more or else defines which team was the best throughout the course of the season.
It was the season that raised the bar of expectations more than any other season in club history. 2010 was a great run to MLS Cup, but it never created a foundation to build upon, as was seen from the poor playoff runs in the following seasons. 2015 was a great season, but the lack of trophies made it seem pointless. 2016 created a bedrock from which the club could build a foundation, based on academy talent and dynamic play.
It was a reward for the best season in club history.
The last three top moments in franchise history will be released next week.
What do you think of my list?
Featured Image: MLSSoccer.com