Bobby Rhine dies of apparent heart attack

FC Dallas play-by-play announcer Bobby Rhine, the former player and public face of the franchise, died Monday night of an apparent heart attack while vacationing with his family in Florida, the team confirmed Tuesday. He was 35.

Rhine is survived by his wife Beven and two children.

Bobby Rhine waves
Bobby Rhine, July 29, 2006. (Jason Gulledge, 3rd Degree)

There is no person who has done more as a player and front-office employee for FC Dallas than Bobby Rhine. He was a man known for his leadership and work ethic that so exceeded the normal player. Rhine was so valuable to the team and franchise — he was the rare career one-team player despite multiple coaching changes. A diligent and tireless worker, Rhine also became quite the TV voice as both a color commentator and play-by-play man.

Rhine, who was born in St. Louis, became a star at Connecticut, where he was a second-team All-American. He was drafted by FC Dallas sixth overall in 1999. Over his career with FC Dallas, Rhine played multiple positions. Starting out as a striker, he notably scored a hat trick in the first game in which his future wife came to watch him play. Over his career, Rhine also performed at a high level as a midfielder and defender.

He retired at the end of the 2008 season with 23 goals in 212 appearances. Rhine moved into the front office and became the manager of community development as well as the color commentator for FC Dallas matches. This season, he moved into the play-by-play roll.

I was privileged to call Bobby Rhine a friend. I have long felt I was a better person for knowing Bobby, a man of conviction and integrity. He was the hallmark FCD player for me as his career has coincided with the birth and growth of 3rd Degree. But none of that conveys was a great person, father and friend he was. Always happy, upbeat and positive, Bobby was always willing to stop for a chat or share a joke no matter how busy or overloaded he was. His love of the game was only overshadowed by his love for his family. He will truly be missed.

Bobby Rhine, rest in peace my friend.

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