20 Years: FC Dallas Golden Boots

The 20th birthday party continues at 3rd Degree as we look back at 20 years of FC Dallas Golden Boot winners.  (That’s a soccer term for the team’s leading goal scorer, if anyone new to the game is reading this). 

Let’s start at the beginning to take a look back in time at who led the Toros on the state sheet each year.  I’ll throw in a little context and some other notable scoring stats with each one.


Jason Kreis – After being selected in the 5th round (5th!!!!) of the MLS launch draft, Kreis comes out his rookie year on fire.  13 goals (3 game-winners) and 5 assists in 31 games a lot of it as a wide mid.  Kreis is named an MLS All-Star and MLS Player of the Month for July with 5 goals in 7 games.

The great Hugo Sanchez finishes his one year in MLS with 6 goals and 3 assists.  Gerrell Elliott has 5 and 7.

The Burn finish their inaugural season 2nd in the West with 41 points but are eliminated in the first round by the Kansas City Wizards.


Dante Washington – 12 goals and 6 assists in 30 games.  Washington was named an MLS All-Star and picked up two MLS Player of the Week nods. 3 game-winning goals.

Right behind Washington was Damian Alvarez, an MLS All-Star, with 11 goals (4 PKs) and 7 assists in 19 games.  Jason Kreis nets 8 goals (4 of them PKs) with 6 assists in 32 games (21 starts), many as a midfielder.  Gerrell Elliott also a solid year with 7 goals and 5 assists.  Alain Sutter, also MLS All-Star and MLS Player of the Month in May, has 8 assists in 21 games.

The Burn earned 10 PKs that year.  42 points, 3rd in the West, and 55 goals (tied-franchise best).  Dallas eliminated LA Galaxy in the Quarters before falling to the Colorado Rapids, for the first time, in the Semis.


Jason Kreis – The year of balanced forward scoring.  Kreis leads the way with 9 goals and 8 assists in 30 games.  An amazing 6 game-winners by Kries out of his 9 goals and 2 game-winning assists.

Also solid good striker seasons were Dante Washington (7 goals, 5 assists in 28 games), the late Mickey Trotman (5 goals, 3 assists in 23 games), and Damian (4 goals, 2 assists in 13 games).

With 37 points the Burn finish 4th in the West but are eliminated in the playoffs by LA Galaxy.


Jason Kreis – The greatest single season in franchise history and one of the greatest in MLS history: 18 goals and 15 assists.  First American born MLS MVP. First 15/15 season in MLS.  MLS All-Star.  MLS Best XI.  MLS Golden Boot (first in franchise history). Player of the Month for June.  6 MLS Player of the Week nods.  The highest single season goal total in franchise history (18). 6 game-winning goals and 7 game-winning assists.

Graziani joined the team late in the season and scores 4 times in 8 games during the regular season but then added 5 more in the playoffs including the series winner against Chicago in game 3. Chad Derring (4g/7a) and Oscar Pareja (4g/6a) also have strong seasons.

Dallas finished 2nd in the West (2 Conferences) on 51 points and 2nd in MLS with 54 goals.  After knocking off Chicago in the opening round of the playoffs, the Burn falls to the LA Galaxy in the Semis.


Ariel Graziani – The Kreis and Graziani partnership really takes off.  Graziani leads the team in goals with 15 in 24 games (3 assists).  Graziani is an MLS All-Star and wins MLS Player of the Week twice.  He has three braces that season (by my count) and is named Team MVP.

Jason Kreis is actually the leading point getter that year, which used to get you the Golden Boot in MLS, with 11 goals (4 game-winners) and 13 assists (4 game-winners).  Kreis is also an MLS All-Star.  Oscar Pareja has 10 assists, 4 being game-winners.

The Burn finish 3rd in the Central with 46 points and are eliminated by Clint Mathis and the MetroStars.  The season of the assists, a franchise record 79 this year.  Dave Dir’s last season as head coach of the Burn.


Ariel Graziani – The 2nd season for Graziani as the Burn’s leading goal scorer with 11 goals and 8 assists in 25 games.  An MLS All-Star nod.

Graziani and Jason Kreis continue their great striker partnership.  Kreis with 7 goals and 10 assists in 25 games.  He was also named an MLS All-Star.  Oscar Pareja was named team MVP though with 12 assists, 4 of them game-winners.  Zarco again tool all the PK, ending the season with 6 goals and 4 assists.

The last season with East, Central and West Conferences in MLS.  The Burn finished 3rd in the central with 35 points and were eliminated by the hated Chicago Fire.  This was the last time the two teams were in the same conference.  Mike Jeffries first season as the head man.


Jason Kreis – 13 goals and 4 assists in 27 games.  5 game-winning goals and 2 game winning assists.  0 PKs by Kreis, Zarco Rodriguez took all the PKs back then.  Kreis was named an MLS All-Star Reserve and an MLS Player of the Week for week 7.

A strong season on the stat sheet.  Antonio “Chivas” Martinez 4 goals, 10 assists.  Bobby Rhine: 7 goals, 6 assists and an MLS Player of the Week for his hat trick against Colorado. Ronald Cerritos: 4 goals, 6 assists. Joselito Vaca: 9 assists and MLS All-Star via Commissioner’s Pick. Oscar Pareja: 6 assists.

A 43 point season, 3rd in the West and elimination from the playoffs for the second time by the Rapids. 


Jason Kreis – The last season Mr Dallas Burn led the team in goals. 7 goals and 2 assists in 18 games. 

Brad Davis with a respectable 6 goals and 5 assists in 26 games.

This was the season of the dreaded Southlake Debacle.  Turf, bad attendance, bad atmosphere, an unmitigated disaster.  Mike Jeffries was fired in September of that year with a 4-16-4 record; Colin Clarke finished out the season in charge. FCD ended the season with franchise worsts of 6 wins, 23 points and 64 goals allowed.


Eddie Johnson – The Grown Ass Man had his best season in Dallas with 12 goals and 3 assists in 26 games.  Showing his clutch nature, an astounding 7 of his goals were game-winners.  1 PK.

Ronnie O’Brien with 10 assists (4 game-winners) and 2 goals in 29 games was named an MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI.  Jason Kreis 5 goals and 2 assists in his final season with the franchise.

Dallas finished last in the West with just 36 point, the only team in the 5 team conference to miss out on playoffs.  34 goals scored remains the lowest in franchise history.  Colin Clarke’s first full season in charge.


Carlos Ruiz – Fish flops his way to Dallas.  11 goals and 2 assists in 19 games with 3 game-winning goals and 3 PKs. Ruiz did win the MLS Goal of the Decade for a bicycle kick goal against DC United (awarded in 2010).  He named an MLS All-Star.

This was another great statistical year for FCD.  Roberto Mina: 7 goals, 4 assists.  Ronnie O’Brien: 6 goals, 12 assists, All-Star, Best XI.  Ramon Nunez: 5 goals, 3 assists.  Eddie Johnson: 5 goals, 2 assists, All-Star. 

Colin Clarke was the coach for the MLS All-Star game.  FCD finished 2nd to San Jose in the West but were upset by the Rapids.  Again.

First season the club was branded as “FC Dallas.”


Carlos Ruiz – Year two of the Fish.  Ruiz led the line with 13 goals, 5 assists in 27 games.  2 game-winning goals.  Fish won MLS Player of the Month in May.

Kenny Cooper was named team MVP though with 11 goals, an astounding 6 of them game-winners, and 4 assists in 31 games.  Ronnie O’Brien had 11 assists in 27 games. Ramon Nunez 6 goals and 4 assists. Richard Mulrooney 9 assists and took the MLS Comeback Player of the Year nod.

As you can see it was a great year for FCD.  48 goals scored, 2nd in the league behind DC United. First place in the West with 52 points.  But after a first round upset by the Rapids for the 2nd straight season, and 4th time overall, Colin Clarke was fired.  Yup, FCD fired a coach who had his team in first place most of the year.  I know, playoffs.  SMH. 

Shockingly Dallas with 0 PKs that year.  That’s amazing.


Carlos Ruiz – The final year of the Fish, Ruiz had 7 goals and 2 assists in 22 games.  Surprisingly 0 game-winners from Fish.  1 PK.  He did score in the playoffs 2nd leg against Houston.

Juan Toja was arguably FCD’s best player that year with 6 goals, 3 of them game-winners, and 1 assist. He was named an MLS All-Star.

A low scoring team, FCD scored only 37 goals but still managed 44 points and made the playoffs despite a -7 goal differential. Only 32 assists this year, the lowest in franchise history likely a great contribute to the low goal total.  The Huntsmen lost in the first round to the dreaded Houston Dynamo.  This was Steve Morrow’s only full season as head coach.


Kenny Cooper – 2008 was Cooper’s big season with 18 goals in 30 games (3 assists). Cooper finished 2nd in Golden Boot behind Landon Donovan (20 goals).  Cooper was named an MLS All-Star, MLS Best XI, and MLS Comeback Player of the Year.

Andre Rocha was the main assist man that year with 8 assists (4 game-winners) and 3 goals. 

FCD finished with 36 points, 5th in the West, but no playoffs.  Steve Morrow is fired in May and after two previous attempts, the Hunts finally get their man Schellas Hyndman.


Jeff Cunningham – The 2nd highest single season goal total in franchise history: 17 goals.  Coming in 28 games, 7 of them were game winners and only 1 was a PK.  Cunningham also added a remarkable 8 assists that season and if you watched him play that is remarkable.  For his efforts Cunningham took home the MLS Golden Boot (2nd in franchise history), MLS Best XI, MLS Player of the Month in September, and MLS Player of the Week 4 times.

It was an offensive explosion of a season… David Ferreira:  8 goals, 7 assists. Dave ven den Bergh: 3 goals, 11 assists.  Kenny Cooper: 8 goals, 7 assists.  Dax McCarty: 3 goals, 6 assists.

FCD scored 50 goals that year, but defense does matter and they finished with only 39 points, 7th in the West.


Jeff Cunningham – The second of Cunningham’s two season run as FCD’s leading scorer with 11 goals in 27 games.  Only 1 assist though, Cunningham wasn’t much of a passer.  3 game-winning goals.  1 MLS Player of the Week nod.

David Ferreira wins the MLS MVP award with one of the best single season performances in club history: 8 goals and 13 assists.  2 game-winning goals and 5 game-winning assists.

Arguably one of the best teams in franchise history with a franchise record low 4 losses; this was the season of FCD’s deep MLS Cup run where they got thug fouled out of the title against the Colorado Rapids.  That was the 5th time the Rapids have beaten FCD in the playoffs.  Cunningham had just 1 goal in the playoffs but Ferreira had 2 goals and 3 assists.  


Brek Shea – Shea’s crowing season with 11 goals in 31 games, adding 4 assists which is impressive given how bad the strikers were this year.  Shea is named an MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI.  5 game winning goals and 2 game winning assists, leading FCD in both categories.

It was a bad year for FCD strikers.  Milton Rodriguez and Ruben Luna each scored 1 goals.  In desperation FCD traded for Maicon Santos who netted 2 goals in 11 games after moving to Dallas.

52 points got FCD into the playoffs but they were eliminated by New York in a single elimination game.


Blas Perez – With 9 goals in 20 games, it’s the first of 3 straight seasons for Perez leading FCD in goals (with 4 assists).  Strangely, none of this goals are game winners though.

Fabian Castillo has his “break out” season and finishes in 2nd place with 6 goals and 3 assists, 2 of the goals and 2 of the assists are game winners. 

FCD on 39 points finished 6th in the West and misses the playoffs.


Blaz Perez – The first of two back-to-back 11 goal seasons by Perez (1 game winner), but only 3 assists, all coming in 25 games.

Kenny Cooper, at the end of his run with FC Dallas, finishes 2nd with 6 goals.  David Ferreira: 3 goals, 9 assists.  Michel: 3 goals, 8 assists.

Dallas finishes on 44 points and out of the playoffs.  A coaching change followed the season, Schellas Hyndman out, Oscar Pareja in.


Blas Perez — 11 goals (for the 2nd straight season) and 6 assists in 29 games for the Panamanian striker. 3 game-winning goals and 2 penalty kicks. This was his best season in MLS.  Earned an MLS Player of the Week in week 27 for his 2 goal performance against Vancouver Whitecaps.

Castillo a close statistical second with 10 goals and 4 assists in 27 games as a mid/winger.  Tesho Akindele with 7 goals and 3 assists is named MLS Rookie of the Year.

Amazingly, FC Dallas’ 54 points is good for only 4th in the West that year.  An astounding 55 goals scored ties the franchise record.  FCD defeats Vancouver in the playoff opener, but is eliminated by Seattle.


Fabian Castillo – 9 goals and 9 assists in 30 games for the Colombian winger/midfielder. An fantastic season for Castillo, who was named an MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI.

The team’s two strikers, David Texeria and Blas Perez had 6 goals and 5 goals respectively, so you can see why they went after a striker and took Urruti in the ’15 MLS Re-Entry Draft (post season).

FCD finished with 60 points, tied for the Supporters Shield, but lose out on it via the 2nd tiebreaker (goal difference).  FCD knocks of Seattle in round 1 but losses out to Portland in the round 2.


Maxi Urruti & Michael Barrios — Both players tie with 9 goals each.  Urruti did it in 30 games, which would technically make him the winner, Barrios did it in 32 games albeit more as a winger/midfielder.  Urruti ads 4 assists, Barrios 2.

Mauro Diaz with 5 goals and 13 assists (7 game-winners) is named an MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI.

FC Dallas on 60 points wins the Supporters Shield and the US Open Cup but is upset by Seattle Sounders in the opening round of the playoffs. 


Maxi Urruti –– 12 goals and 5 assists in 32 games, on paper a great season and his best in MLS, but unfortunately for FC Dallas none of his goals came after the San Lorenzo offer for him was turned down.  Urruti’s late season drought was part of the biggest collapse in MLS history.  3 of Urruti’s goals were game winners and one goal was a PK. He did add 5 assists for a well-rounded line.

In 2nd place Roland Lamah, seemingly scoring goals in multi-goal only, with 11 goals.

Dallas misses the playoffs by 1 point, finishing tied with San Jose at 46 points but missed out on the playoffs via the tie breaker.


So who do you have with the Golden Boot in 2018? 

Will it be Urruti for the 3rd straight season?  Will Cristian Colam have a break out season?  Or will the club relay on a midfielder/winger again like Barrios?  Perhaps a new face not yet on the roster?

Stay tuned!

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