With MLS play suspended through at least May 10th, the league and clubs have been broadcasting and showcasing some of the league’s history.
With a trip down memory lane in mind, I’ve been taking a dive into the FC Dallas YouTube channel, starting with the oldest videos and finding videos that stick out,
For the second chapter of this series, we’ll look through videos from the 2011 season through the 2013 season.
After the heartbreaking defeat in the MLS Cup Final to finish out the 2010 season, the club had high hopes for the 2011 season and hoped to build on the positives from 2010. With Bobby Rhine heading up FCDTV and serving as the club’s broadcaster, the content provided to fans ramped up in 2011, with the club offering an inside look into the club with its “The Season” series.
Over the course of 5 chapters (the video above is the first part of a playlist that contains every chapter) spanning across the course of the season, starting with preseason and ending with the playoffs, the series follows the up and down journey of the 2011 season and is a great watch for anyone who wants to relive the era or, if you’re like me, learn about a season that you weren’t around for.
Fabian Castillo Arrives & Fabian Castillo Welcome
The 2011 MLS season saw two expansion teams join the league with the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps both entering simultaneously. In recent years, the Expansion Draft has seen much-lessened importance, as well as a lessened impact on the existing clubs, with a restriction put in place that prevents clubs from losing more than one player to the draft. Unfortunately for FCD, in 2011, this rule was not in place yet and Dallas lost two key players: midfielder Dax McCarty to Portland and attacker Atiba Harris to Vancouver.
Along with the loss of Harris in the attack, the club lost veteran striker and (at the time) MLS all-time leading scorer Jeff Cunningham to the Re-Entry draft, leaving a serious dearth of options in attack. As the 2011 season drew near, Dallas needed to add attacking options and found their man in the form of young Colombian winger Fabian Castillo. Castillo’s overall time and unfortunate end in a Dallas jersey do not need to be touched upon, but it is fun to see the start of his journey with the club as a teenager.
I’ve included two videos here, one on his initial arrival where he takes about how (at the time) assistant coach Oscar Pareja helped with his transition, and another where the club introduced Castillo to the Dallas Colombian community.
In our first goofy video for this week’s column, we have the first of our three anti-Houston videos. Apparently, at this point, the club had not come up with the Crush the Orange tagline and instead went with the not-particularly-clever We All Hate Houston hashtag.
This video features a series of fans holding up a sign with the hashtag and giving their reasons why they hate Houston. My personal favorites: “Orange is a burnt old color” and “Houston chicks are ugly.”
200 Franchise Wins
On June 18th, 2011, FC Dallas defeated Chivas USA 2-1 and recorded the 200th win in the club’s history. To commemorate, the club put together a video of the 10 most memorable goals in FCD history to that point.
Hard to say how many of these goals would still make the top 10 in the modern era, but it is a lovely look back at some of the biggest and most important goals in the history of the club.
Highlights – Pumas UNAM vs FC Dallas
Shortly after recording their 200th victory as a club, FC Dallas recorded another piece of history in Mexico City when they became the first MLS side to defeat a Liga MX team in the CONCACAF Champions League on Mexican soil.
This game was hyped up as one of the most important in the history of the club and the team selected by Schellas Hyndman was able to get the job done on the back of a Marvin Chavez second-half goal. Although FCD was unfortunately not able to follow up on their success and make further progress through the competition in 2011, they’ll always hold the honor of being the first MLS team to go down to Mexico and pull off an upset.
Remembering Bobby Rhine
Following a couple pieces of club history, FC Dallas was hit with a massive tragedy on September 5, 2011, when former player and broadcaster Bobby Rhine passed away due to a sudden heart attack at the age of 35.
Rhine played over 200 games after being drafted by the Burn in 1999 and before retiring following the 2008 season. Immediately after retirement, Rhine became the face of FCDTV and led the TV broadcast team. He was instrumental in providing the quality content from FCDTV in the 2010 and 2011 seasons and always showed a remarkable amount of passion and love for the club and the fans.
The club’s tribute video, which was played in the stadium, is a touching tribute to the player, broadcaster and the man and the club truly still misses him. RIP BR19.
Matt Hedges: From Draft Day to the Pitch
Witnessing the early days of a club legend is always fun and this draft day plus first training sessions video focused on FCD’s 2012 first-round SuperDraft pick Matt Hedges allows us to get a glimpse into the earliest steps of Hedges’ professional career.
There’s nothing particularly remarkable about this video, other than how adorably baby-faced Hedges is in the video. Few, including Hedges himself, would have imagined how important he would become to the club in the coming decade.
New Technical Director Fernando Clavijo
In a very low-key, 90 second video, the club introduced another man who would become crucial to the club’s success in coming years when they announced that Fernando Clavijo had stepped into the technical director role after Barry Gorman’s departure during the 2011 season.
At this point in time, Clavijo was known for his appearance for the USMNT at the 1994 World Cup and for managing the New England Revolution from 2000-2002 and the Colorado Rapids from 2005-2008. Of course, Clavijo was going on to do some of the best work of his career as the technical director for Dallas, bringing in numerous key players that helped the club win multiple trophies in years to come.
Crush the Orange
If you’ve been around the FC Dallas Twitter universe at all, you’ve undoubtedly seen a .gif of Chris Seitz squeezing and crushing an orange between his hands. That gif comes directly from this video from the 2012 season, the first time we got the “Crush the Orange” tagline.
The video features various FC Dallas players using various methods to crush oranges, including Brek Shea running over multiple simultaneously with his truck and Matt Hedges shooting a bag of oranges with a paintball gun. All the player footage is undercut with head coach Schellas Hyndman giving an orange what could only be described as a “death stare” before the video ends with Hyndman tossing the orange into the trash can.
New AdvoCare Kit Photoshoot
There is nothing particularly notable in the content of this video, just simple footage of a jersey photo shoot, but the video as a whole is notable because it introduced the first shirt sponsor in club history: Advocare. Of course, anyone who is remotely familiar with Advocare is well aware of the, let’s call it troublesome, nature of the company, which was essentially considered by most to be a pyramid scheme.
Although some of Advocare’s business practices have changed over the years, they have never been a popular shirt sponsor and the giant toothpaste-esque logo used for the first few years did not help the public perception either.
Matt Hedges for Rookie of the Year: Hispanics for Hedges
In his rookie season, one in which he was expected to largely be a backup to Ugo Ihemelu and George John, Hedges became a starter for a large chunk of the season, going on to make 28 appearances by season’s end. His high level of play put him into the running for the rookie of the year award and the club’s media team made a series of goofy videos to support his candidacy. Other videos showed George John as Hedges Campaign Manager, introduced the idea that “Big Cereal” was against them, and showed the endorsement of his fellow players. But the video I picked out among the bunch features Hedges speaking in Spanish and showing off the support of his Hispanic teammates Carlos Rodriguez, Victor Ulloa, and Jair Benitez. Be sure to watch until the end of this one.
Brek Shea FC Dallas Supporter
After two strong seasons in 2010 and 2011, FCD struggled in 2012, going on a 13 game winless streak at one point of the season. Even with that run, they still had hoped to make the playoffs by season’s end but were missing star winger Brek Shea due to injury. Still wanting to be involved and support the team, Shea made his way to the beer garden at the north end of the stadium and joined in on the singing, chanting and even the drumming with the fans.
Shea has become somewhat of a meme since his failed time in Europe and indeed, this would basically be the last notable thing he did as a member of FC Dallas before being sold to Stoke City ahead of the 2013 MLS Season, but it is easy to forget that Shea was genuinely loved by the fans and was also genuinely considered one of the best prospects in the US when he was sold. I personally would not be upset to see him get one last shot in Dallas to revive his career.
Crush the Orange (again)
Crush the Orange made a return for the 2013 season and the club had themselves a new asset to help with the marketing push: center-back Stephen Keel. The club brought in Keel from the New York Red Bulls ahead of the 2013 season as a center back depth behind George John and Matt Hedges, but not only did they get a defender, they got one of the biggest characters in club history.
With a presence like Keel, it must have made making these kinds of videos a blast. In this video, Keel, and John introduce the “FCD-442 Orange Obliteration System” and sell it as if they were on QVC.
Presented without comment…
Century Club Highlights: Jair Benitez, George John, Kenny Cooper, David Ferreira and Zach Loyd
Although the 2013 season was a disappointment on the whole, with the club missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season, it was a season full of individual milestones for players. Five different FC Dallas players joined the “Century Club” and made their 100th appearance for the club during the 2013 season: Jair Benitez, George John, Kenny Cooper, David Ferreira, and Zach Loyd. Each video above are highlights from each player’s FC Dallas career and the fact that five players hit this milestone in one season shows the consistency that was established within the roster in the Hyndman era.
Of course, there was always plenty of chopping and changing but almost all these players made their debuts under Hyndman and remained consistent parts of the lineup throughout his time as head coach.
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round: FC Dallas vs Houston Dynamo
Not a lot to explain with this video, it is a rare full match video on the FC Dallas YouTube channel. There are a few of these on the channel, most of which are friendlies that were streamed by the club and not broadcast over the air.
This one, in particular, is notable because, in addition to being an actual competitive match, it was a Texas Derby match in the US Open Cup. Not much else needs to be said.
Celebrity Bartending with George John & Stephen Keel
The duo of George John and Stephen Keel returns, this time making an attempt at bartending at The Londoner Pub (RIP). The situation here is that a USMNT game was being aired at the bar located just outside FC Dallas Stadium and the club sent over John and Keel to mingle with fans, pour some drinks and raise some money for the FC Dallas Foundation.
Of course, with these two guys, and Keel in particular, the entire thing becomes far more entertaining than it looks on paper. I’m curious if George John has ever improved his beer pouring skills after the criticism he received in this video.
Introducing Toyota Stadium and Toyota Soccer Center
From the opening of the stadium all the way through 2011, FC Dallas played in what was known as Pizza Hut Park. That sponsorship ended and was not re-upped after the 2011 season so for just over a season and a half, the stadium was simply known as FC Dallas Stadium. That came to an end in September 2013, when the current sponsor, Toyota, came into place and the stadium was renamed Toyota Stadium, along with the complex of fields adjacent to the stadium being renamed Toyota Soccer Center.
This video isn’t very exciting or anything, but in a lot of ways, represents the start of a new era for the club.
Thank You, Schellas Hyndman
As a new era began with the new stadium name, an era ended following the 2013 season, when head coach Schellas Hyndman resigned from the position after another season out of the playoffs. Hyndman coached the club for five full seasons along with the second half of the 2008 season and was named MLS Coach of the Year in 2010 while guiding the club to its only MLS Cup final appearance in club history.
Hyndman certainly has his detractors, many felt his methods were too old school and he played favorites far too often, but the highs experienced under him are among the highest highs the club has ever had. This video is a simple look back and a thank you video to a coach who brought so much to the club but couldn’t quite make the final hurdle.
Which of these videos is your favorite? Do any of them bring back any great, or not so great, memories?
Did I make any glaring omissions with this list?
Featured Image: USA Today Images