Dallas Draft History – 1996 Part 4

Welcome back to the Dallas Draft History. In Part 1, we took a look at the four marquee players allocated by MLS to Dallas, and in Part 2 and Part 3 we jumped into the 16-round Inaugural Player Draft.

With this installment, I’ll take us through the end of the Inaugural Player Draft with the last 6 picks Dallas made.

In this series, I’m taking a look at literally every single player Dallas has ever drafted since 1996. I’ll be going over who each player was, what they did before joining Dallas, and what (if anything) they did after leaving. And for a handful of players, we’ll talk about what they did instead of playing in MLS.

And with that out of the way, let’s dive back in.

Round 11 – Jorge Flores

  • Born: 12 February, 1977, California
  • Signed from: Paramount High School, California
  • Games Played: 34 (1996-1998)
  • Goals/Assists: 2/1
  • International: United States, 1 caps, 0 goals

Jorge Flores was the first teenager to ever play for the Dallas organization, having been drafted more or less right out of high school at the age of 17. His only non-scholastic soccer experience was stints with the US U-17 national team, including playing every single minute at the 1993 U-17 World Championship, where the USA lost to Poland in the quarterfinals.

In the era before MLS teams had organized youth academies, bringing in younger players was a far bigger risk, as they were essentially thrown directly to the fire from day one. Flores was no exception, making his debut off the bench in early June. He had just 56 minutes off the bench across three games by his first start on the 4th of July, and by the end of the season, had started three games and played a total of 295 minutes. Flores also received his first senior national team cap in October against Peru.

The next season, Flores began the year fighting for minutes before working his way into the midfield rotation by July. After an impressive showing at the 1997 U-20 World Championship, he played the bulk of the summer, netting his first goal and first assist, but by September had been relegated to the bench once again.

1998 brought more opportunities to play, and Flores finally became something of a regular rotation player in midfield. He added another goal off the bench in April in Tampa Bay, and finished the season with a career high 805 minutes across 16 games. A 16 minute stint off the bench in the playoffs against Los Angeles would prove to be his final MLS minutes.

Flores was loaned out to the MLS Pro 40 squad in the summer of 1999, but was recalled almost immediately, and quickly thereafter loaned to the Boston Bulldogs in the A-League. Both attempts at finding more playing time ultimately failed, and Flores spent the rest of 1999 benchwarming in Dallas. He was released at the end of the season and retired soon after.

Round 12 – Richard Farrer

  • Born: 9 April, 1971, South Africa
  • Signed from: New Mexico Chiles, USISL
  • Games Played: 158 (1996-2002)
  • Goals/Assists: 6/4

Richard Farrer moved from Johannesburg to the United States for college, attending and playing for Colorado College and the University of New Mexico.

While still in school, he made his USISL debut with the Albuquerque Gunners (later New Mexico Roadrunners and New Mexico Chiles), and signed with them as a professional after graduating. He returned to South Africa briefly to join AmaZulu, and spent another similarly brief tryout stint with Lincoln City in England. He returned to New Mexico for the 1995 USISL season.

Farrer signed with Dallas and immediately locked down a starting roll in the back line. He started all but one game during the 1996 season, only resting for the regular season finale so he could play every minute of Dallas’s playoff run.

He couldn’t maintain his ironman form through 1997, where injuries early in the year knocked him out for the majority of the season, but returned late in August to pick up right where he left off, including the Open Cup title run.

The next four seasons, Farrer further cemented his role as a regular presence somewhere in the back half of the lineup, playing in a variety of defensive positions week in and week out. He was named team captain and was one of the faces of the team at the turn of the millennium.

For 2002, Farrer started the season as he had the previous years, but retired that summer to start law school at UT Austin. He graduated in 2005, started practicing in San Antonio, and in 2018 became a judge.

Round 13 – Jimmy Glenn

  • Born: 9 August, 1972, California
  • Signed from: Cincinnati Silverbacks, NPSL (indoor)
  • Games Played: 9 (1996)
  • Goals/Assists: 0/0
  • Moved to: Cincinnati Silverbacks, NPSL (indoor) (1996)

Jimmy Glenn had an odd career, dominating college ball and joining the USISL’s Carolina Dynamo, where he immediately impressed and contributed to the team’s 1994 championship win. After the 1995 season, he moved indoors, signing with the Cincinnati Silverbacks. During the indoor season, he was drafted by Dallas, and joined the team when the Silverbacks season ended.

Glenn’s time in Dallas was, to put it mildly, underwhelming. He made just 9 appearances over the course of the season, all off the bench, didn’t score a goal or register an assist, and played just 115 minutes. He was released in the fall right as the indoor season began, and he rejoined the Silverbacks.

After two games, he was traded to the Baltimore Spirit for the remainder of the season, serving as a rotation attacker. Glenn returned to the outdoor game in 1997, signing with the Rochester Rhinos for what would prove to be his longest stint with a single team. With Rochester, Glenn won the 1998 and 2000 A-League titles, and most famously the 1999 US Open Cup against the Colorado Rapids. Jimmy also got another crack at MLS with a 5 match loan stint with Columbus in 1998. He played 242 minutes for the Crew with 3 starts and registered his only MLS assist.

Glenn continued to play indoor soccer during the A-League offseason, spending the 97/98 season with the Buffalo Blizzard and the 2000/01 season with the Toronto Thunderhawks, helping both teams make playoff runs that ultimately didn’t end in trophies. Following a contract dispute with Rhinos brass in May 2001, Glenn left Rochester and signed with the Atlanta Silverbacks. He played just 3 games in Atlanta before retiring.

In his post-retirement life, Jimmy Glenn has worked in automotive sales around the DFW Metroplex.

Round 14 – Steve Keller

  • Born: 5 May, 1972, Illinois
  • Drafted from: Rockford Raptors (USISL)
  • Never Signed with Dallas
  • Moved to: Rockford Raptors (USISL)

Steve Keller had a short and strange career. He split his time between basketball and soccer in high school, earning accolades in both, played for Indiana University and nearly won the 1994 championship, and then didn’t really do anything else.

He signed with the USISL’s Rockford Raptors for the 1995 season as the Raptors finished bottom of their conference. He was then drafted by Dallas, but during preseason without signing, and immediately rejoined Rockford.

The following season, the Raptors actually made the playoffs but went out in the first round. Keller then joined the indoor Milwaukee Wave for the 96/97 season but played just 9 games before leaving and retiring.

In 1998, he moved into coaching, taking charge of the William Fremd High School boy’s soccer team, which he’s still coaching 23 years later. The most notable player to come through his team is Forward Madison’s Eric Leonard.

Round 15 – Ed Puskarich

  • Born: 4 April, 1962, Illinois
  • Signed from: Rockford Raptors, USISL
  • Games Played: 18 (1996)
  • Goals/Assists: 0/0

Ed Puskarich was 33, almost 34, when he signed with Dallas, and already had a long and impressive career behind him.

Puskarich moved to Dallas to attend SMU in 1980, and played both soccer and football for the Mustangs. After graduating, there weren’t many options to play professional soccer, so he ended up with the Houston Mustangs of the moribund United Soccer League (no relation to the current one).

As the indoor game picked up speed following the collapse of nearly every serious outdoor league, Puskarich moved to the Columbus Capitals of the AISA. Columbus folded in the summer of 1986, leading to several years of bouncing between different teams and leagues. He eventually settled in with the Chicago Power in 1989, where he emerged as a reliable two-way player and helped the Power win the 1991 NPSL title.

Puskarich split 1995 between the Milwaukee Wave and Rockford Raptors before joining Dallas for the 1996 season. In that inaugural campaign, Puskarich was valuable as an experienced veteran defender with leadership experience, and he played as a rotation starter the bulk of the year. At the end of the season, he retired for the first time to join the Burn’s coaching staff.

In addition to his coaching duties with the Burn, Puskarich served as head coach of the Texas Toros (later Spurs, Rattlers, and DFW Tornado), and actually came out of retirement to play for his team sporadically from 2001 through 2003.

He currently serves as the director of the Texas Spurs youth club, and coaches several of their top teams.

Round 16 – Gabe Gentile

  • Born: 30 April, 1972, Texas
  • Signed from: University of North Texas
  • Games Played: 9 (1996)
  • Goals/Assists: 0/0
  • Moved to: New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers, (1997)

Gabe Gentile is yet another local kid who went to school in the Metroplex before being drafted by Dallas. He does stand out a bit though in that he attended the University of North Texas, a school that one doesn’t usually think of regarding men’s soccer, mainly because they haven’t run a men’s side since the mid 90s, and were never as big of a deal as SMU.

Gentile was the last player selected by Dallas in the inaugural draft, picked 153rd overall, and before the season really began, he was loaned down to the DFW Toros. He did well at the lower level, but didn’t impress the Dallas management, and he was released before the end of the year without making his Burn debut.

Gentile signed with the New Orleans Riverboat Gamblers for the 1997 and 1998 seasons, becoming one of the team’s regular starters in the A-League.

After the ’98 season, Gentile returned to Dallas to rejoin the Toros, and once again did well with the side. He made the All-League Second Team two years in a row with the Toros before retiring young and becoming a coach.

Gentile currently serves as a coach in the FC Dallas youth system, currently coaching the 03B Silver and 10B Gentile teams.

Thanks for reading Part 4 of the 1996 edition of Dallas Draft History. Part 5 will finish the inaugural season with the final two drafts and the six players in total selected by Dallas. After that, we’ll move into 1997 and keep going all the way through to the picks from the 2021 SuperDraft – eventually.

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