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 2014 season through the 2016 season.
Welcome back, Oscar
After missing the playoffs in 2012 and 2013 and facing the resignation of head coach Schellas Hyndman following the 2013 season, the club turned to a familiar face: former midfielder, academy director and assistant coach Oscar Pareja. Pareja had left the club after the 2011 season to take the head coach position with the Colorado Rapids, a position he held for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Because he was still under contract with the Rapids, FCD actually had to essentially do a trade for Pareja, sending the Rapids a 2015 SuperDraft pick and allocation money in order to ink Pareja to a deal to coach his former club. The club created a short, sweet and to the point video to welcome home the man known as “Papi”.
Texas Derby Supremacy
It took FC Dallas almost five seasons worth of games against Houston to record a win in Houston, doing so for the first time in 2010 in Robertson Stadium. Four seasons later, FC Dallas recorded their first blow out in Houston, taking down the Dynamo 4-1 in BBVA Compass Stadium. As we’ve seen to this point, the FCDTV team is not afraid to talk some smack against Houston and they took the opportunity to make a short video highlighting the away fans and showing some quick highlights before displaying the score in front of El Capitán.
MINI-DOC | Behind the Scenes : Fulham FC vs FC Dallas Dallas Cup XXXV
Academy information is a regular on the FCD YouTube channel, especially in this time period, but most videos are quick and brief recap videos of how various academy teams had been performing. This video is very different, focusing on the U-18 team’s first Dallas Cup match against Fulham FC from England. Unfortunately, the team was handed a 4-0 defeat that day but the video is an in-depth look into the team that day and includes some familiar faces.
The coach of the team at that time was none other than current FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez and it is really fun to see Luchi in an earlier stage of his career and see how much has changed with him while also showing how strong his foundation as a coach was with the academy. It is very easy to see why the club was so impressed with him and hired him ahead of the 2019 season. Other familiar faces here include goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez and former homegrown defender Jordan Cano.
#VoteforTesho – “All Your Wildest Dreams Will Come True”
Napoleon Dynamite was released way back in 2004, but apparently the FCDTV team was interested in doing a bit of 10 year anniversary content as part of their campaign to have Tesho Akindele selected as MLS Rookie of the Year in 2014. This short video features Tesho playing the role of Pedro Sanchez and mimicking his speech to his school to try to become class president. Possibly the best part of this video is Matt Hedges playing the role of Napoleon himself, complete with a curly blonde wig and a Vote for Tesho t-shirt. Too bad we didn’t get his rendition of Napoleon’s famous dance.
EVERY GOAL: 2014 FC Dallas Season
This video is pretty self-explanatory, a cut of all 55 goals scored during the 2014 MLS season. This one is fun as it gives a good glimpse into the early days of Oscar Pareja’s FC Dallas and the start of the incredibly productive partnership between Mauro Diaz and Fabian Castillo.
We don’t need puppies to sell our product…or do we?
How can you not love a video about puppies? Nothing significant about this, the reference at the start is to a 2015 Budweiser Super Bowl commercial featuring some adorable puppies. I guess the FCDTV team saw this as an easy opportunity to make an easy to make video with puppies. I’m not complaining.
In 2015, much like 2020 with the 25th anniversary season, FC Dallas and MLS as a whole were celebrating the league’s 20th season. Compared to the celebrations and plethora of retro content that has come out of the 25th anniversary season celebration, the 20th season anniversary was more low-key. For FCD’s part, they ran a series of videos they titled #TBT Highlights, in which each week they would put up a highlight video of a historic game against that week’s opponent. I’ve compiled these videos into a playlist, so just click play and they should all play through!
SIGHTS & SOUNDS: 2015 Gold Cup at Toyota Stadium
Since opening back in 2005, Toyota Stadium has held its fair share of international competition, most recently hosting the USWNT in one of the final games played in the USA before the COVID-19 shutdown. The 2015 Gold Cup, however, marked a special occasion because, not only was the stadium the site of group stage matches, it hosted a USMNT match. The FCDTV team was out and about on that match day and made a fun piece of content covering the days worth of games, which also featured Panama and FC Dallas striker Blas Perez.
Personally, it was nice to go back to a time where people were still optimistic about the men’s national team, something we have not gotten a lot since that night in Trinidad back in October 2017.
Fabian Castillo 2015 MLS All-Star Highlights
It is safe to say that Fabian Castillo is still a very divisive figure among FC Dallas fans, even in 2020. The way the Colombian handled his departure from the team during the 2016 season very justifiably left a bad taste in a lot of folks’ mouths. That being said, Castillo was an absolute joy to watch in an FC Dallas kit and of all his complete seasons played with the club, 2015 was undoubtedly his best season. After a season of bedding into Oscar Pareja’s new system and setup and having time to gel with Mauro Diaz and the rest of the attack, Castillo was an absolute force in 2015, recording 9 goals and 9 assists in 30 appearances and earning an MLS all-star selection. His highlight video from only about half of his 2015 season make for a good way to spend 2 and half a minutes.
FC Dallas Extra Time Ep. 3: Segment 3 FC Dallas Supporters El Matador
Supporters groups have been a part of the club, whether we’re talking the Burn era or the FCD era, from the club’s inception, dating all the way back to the beginning with the Inferno. By 2015, many groups had come and gone and the new crop of groups started to take shape, one of which being El Matador, a group centered around Latin American style support. As part of the club’s Extra Time series, they highlighted the group, back when they stood in the old south end bleacher section, and gave some history and information on the group. As someone who has season tickets in the Beer Garden, where El Matador is currently located, I can confidently say that even though they’ve moved locations, this great group of supporters have not changed their ethos and this video is a great introduction if you are not familiar.
The Next Evolution of Lamar’s Vision is Here
For the first 10 years of Toyota Stadium’s lifespan, there were not any significant changes to the stadium other than the name changes. In the years leading up to 2015, the Beer Garden had been greatly expanded with the Dallas Beer Guardians’ expansion, but other than that, the stadium was essentially the same as when it opened back in 2005. Near the end of the 2015 season, plans were announced that would change that and also root the club in Toyota Stadium for the foreseeable future. The club announced that the National Soccer Hall of Fame would be coming not only to Frisco, but to Toyota Stadium itself and with that would be a complete renovation of the south end of the stadium. Gone would be the bleachers and in their place the Hall of Fame and a whole new section of seats tied to it. This video essentially announces that and lays out a rendering of what it was intended to look like, which, as you can see even from the video preview, is worlds apart from what the south end currently looks like.
THE REWIND pres. by Toyota | FC Dallas vs Seattle Sounders FC
After successfully getting FC Dallas back into the playoffs in the 2014 season, Oscar Pareja and his team looked to push on in 2015, and they did so in a big way, only losing the Supporters’ Shield to the New York Red Bulls on goal difference and entering the playoffs as the top seed, granting them a bye in the knockout rounds. As they’ve become famous for, the Seattle Sounders finished the 2015 regular season on a huge hot streak, going unbeaten in their final 8 matches to enter the playoffs as the 4th seed, ultimately hosting the LA Galaxy in Seattle and defeating them, putting Seattle up against FCD in the Western Conference semi-finals.
Most in the media figured Seattle would take it. After all, they had only finished 9 points worse than Dallas during the regular season, they were the defending Supporters’ Shield winners and they were riding a massive hot streak, and the pundits seemed to be on their way to a good prediction when the first leg finished with a 2-1 victory for the Sounders. What would ensue in the second leg is one of the most exciting, electric and dramatic games in club history. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance for this game and I can say that it is my favorite live sporting event experience. I’m sure anyone reading this article is aware of this game, but I will let the very well done video tell the story.
ALL ACCESS: Fernando Clavijo at the 2016 MLS SuperDraft
Over time, the MLS SuperDraft’s importance in constructing teams has faded. What was once a major mechanism to bring in new players each season has become as much a tool for the second division USL Championship to ultimately sign players once their time with an MLS team runs out. The league seems to be recognizing the same, holding the 2020 draft on what amounted to a conference call instead of at an actual venue. But things had not progressed to that point ahead of the 2016 season and for the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, which was held in Baltimore and brought together the leadership teams of every MLS team in one room as they made their selections and their trades during the draft. This video focuses on technical director Fernando Clavijo and his draft day, initially highlighting their attempts to draft goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell (they apparently really, really wanted him) and then on to drafting their eventual first round pick, goalkeeper Ryan Herman. The 2016 draft picks did not end up making their mark with the club, but this video is an interesting look into what the SuperDraft looked like for GMs and technical directors.
#TexasDerby: Dynamo’s butts are too big
It wouldn’t be one of these columns without at least one silly anti-Houston video, and 2016’s edition might top the silliness charts. I’m not really sure who these two little girls (or two “top marketers” as the video calls them) are, but this video is 2 minutes of little kid savagery (and a lot of poop and fart jokes) directed towards the Dynamo and Houston’s mascot Diesel. My personal favorite here is “Dynamos are stupid butts” complete with a masterful “dynamos are stupid butts!!!!!!!!!!!” piece of artwork.
11th Anniversary | First Match at Toyota Stadium
I’m not sure why the club decided that the 11th anniversary of the first match at Toyota Stadium was particularly noteworthy, but they apparently decided it was and posted a highlight video of that first match. I give the club some credit here for honoring the occasion, even though the result on the day was not ideal, a 2-2 draw to the MetroStars, and the video itself has some interesting tidbits. I was not aware that when the stadium was opened, it wasn’t actually fully complete. It is also fun to hear all the optimism from the commentators and how they “don’t miss the Cotton Bowl” (I’m sure some fans would disagree on that front). But maybe the best thing here is Carlos Ruiz’s impeccable finish on the second FCD goal, that’s worth the time if nothing else.
The First Trophy | The Story of the 1997 LHUSOC Champion Dallas Burn
2016 was a wildly successful season for FCD, almost certainly the best season in the club’s history. In addition to being the best team in the regular season, Dallas made their way to the 2016 US Open Cup final, their first final appearance since the 2010 MLS Cup final and their first Open Cup final appearance since losing the 2007 final to the New England Revolution. In the build up to the match, Dallas made an easy decision and covered the history of what was, at the time, the only trophy the club had won, the 1997 US Open Cup. Featuring interviews with former Burn players Mark Dodd, Ted Eck, Wade Webber and Tom Soehn (who was a New England assistant coach at the time, that must have been a bit awkward!) and broadcaster Glenn Davis, the almost 8 minute video is a wonderful dive into that historic accomplishment.
2016 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Champions | Thank You Fans / For the Fans / FC Dallas fans celebrate LHUSOC win with Viking chant
It was impossible to pick one single video that was created in celebration of FCD’s 2016 US Open Cup victory, so I included all three. The first video is straight from the locker room in the midst of post-game celebrations among the players, coaching staff and front office with various team members thanking the fans. The second focuses on the on-field celebrations immediately after the final whistle and the final video focuses on one part of that celebration, when Maxi Urruti took over the drum and led the crowd in what is surely the loudest “Viking chant” that has been heard in Toyota Stadium. All told, these videos bring back some wonderful memories from one of the best nights in club history.
2016 Supporters’ Shield Winner
After winning their first trophy in almost 20 years, the 2016 team was not done yet. As the season wound down, the Supporters’ Shield race narrowed into a three horse race between FCD, Colorado and the New York Red Bulls. It took all the way until the final match of the season away to the LA Galaxy but in the end, FCD managed to clinch the shield with a 0-0 draw, hoisting the shield in LA in front of a large group of travelling supporters.
Dallas ’til I die.
One game prior, in the final home match of the regular season, Dallas hosted the Seattle Sounders and earned a result that was crucial in their hunt for the shield, with a very memorable goal coming from Carlos Ruiz in his return to the club. But likely the most consequential moment of the game came when Mauro Diaz suffered a challenge from Seattle defender Tyrone Mears. I was at this match and at the time, it did not look like a particularly significant play, but it was a play that ultimately spelled doom for the 2016 MLS season as the tackle from Mears resulted in a torn achilles tendon for Diaz and knocked him out of the last game of the season and the playoffs.
This left very little time for Pareja and his coaching staff to work out how to play without Diaz. In his first couple seasons with the team, Diaz had dealt with recurring injuries, but in 2016 he had finally gotten through them and hit a long run of games. His form was nothing short of electric and he was likely the most impactful player in the league in 2016. The club was left with one single regular season game to try to figure something out in his absence.
They couldn’t figure it out quick enough. After sitting through their bye week for the knockout rounds, Dallas was faced with a familiar foe, matching up against Seattle in the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The first leg in Seattle was nothing less than a nightmare, with Seattle scoring three goals within 10 minutes in the second half and Dallas failing to score the all important away goal at CenturyLink Field. In response, the club gathered together fans from across the United States to record videos and audio calls encouraging the team. It makes for pretty inspirational stuff.
Thank you fans.
Sadly, the encouragement wasn’t enough for the team and although they put up a huge fight in the second leg, they were unable to reverse the deficit, ultimately falling to Seattle 4-2 on aggregate. If you go look at the FC Dallas YouTube channel, you won’t find much of anything in response to that game other than this video, another love letter to the fans from the FCDTV. Against a backdrop of fans marching to the stadium and singing “Go Dallas Go”, the video shows various shots of fans in and out of the stadium before thanking the fans and celebrating the history made in 2016. A fitting end to one of the best seasons in club history.
What are your favorite moments from the 2014-2016 seasons?
Did I miss any videos that definitely should have been included? Sound off in the comments below!
Featured Image: Jon Lorentz