Ed Note: This article was first written as part of the 3rd Degree 20th birthday celebration in 2017. As well as receiving some light editing, it has been updated to show 2018 and 2019 Golden Boot winners.
The 20th birthday party continues at 3rd Degree as we look back at 20 years of FC Dallas Golden Boot winners. (That’s a fancy soccer term for the team’s leading goal scorer if anyone new to the game is reading this).
Let’s start at the Burn beginning and 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.
1996 – Jason Kreis
After being selected in the 5th round (5th!!!!) of the MLS launch draft, Kreis came out his rookie year on fire. 13 goals (3 game-winners) and 5 assists in 31 games, some of it as a wide midfielder. Kreis is named an MLS All-Star and MLS Player of the Month for July (5 goals in 7 games).
He also scored the first goal in franchise history, the video here should be qued to that goal. (And Real Salt Lake history too at 4:04 below.)
Side note: did you know Kenny Cooper scored the first MLS goal in Portland Timbers history? It’s at 6:22 in the video.
The great Hugo Sanchez finishes his one year in MLS with 6 goals and 3 assists. Gerrell Elliott has 5 and 7.
The Burn finished their inaugural season 2nd in the West with 41 points but are eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Kansas City Wizards.
1997 – 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), again some 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 in the Semis.
1998 – 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 having solid 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 finished 4th in the West but are eliminated in the playoffs by the LA Galaxy.
1999 – Jason Kreis
The greatest single season in franchise history and one of the greatest in MLS history: 18 goals and 15 assists. The first American-born MLS MVP. First 15/15 season in MLS. MLS All-Star. MLS Best XI. MLS Golden Boot (first in franchise history, with 51 points). 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 scored 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 on 51 points. 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.
2000 – 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 (3 conferences!) with 46 points and are eliminated in the playoffs 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.
2001 – 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 Rodriguez took 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 Conference 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.
2002 – 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 again. 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 for the Burn. 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.
2003 – 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.
Honestly, the less said about this season the better.
2004 – 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. Only 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.
Back at the Cotton Bowl, Dallas finished last in the West with just 36 points, 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.
2005 – 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.
Pizza Hut Park opens and this is the first season the club was branded as “FC Dallas.”
2006 – 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.
2007 – Carlos Ruiz
The final year of the Fish, Ruiz had 7 goals and 2 assists in 22 games. Surprisingly 0 game-winners. 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 contributor 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.
2008 – Kenny Cooper
2008 was Cooper’s big season with 18 goals in 30 games (3 assists, 4 game-winning goals, 4 PKs), equaling Jason Kreis’ 1999 season for the franchise single-season goal record. Cooper finished 2nd in MLS Golden Boot race 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.
2009 – Jeff Cunningham
The 3rd highest single-season goal total in franchise history: 17 goals. Coming in 28 games, 7 of them were game-winners and only 1 PK goal. Cunningham also added a remarkable 8 assists that season (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.
2010 – 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. 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.
2011 – Brek Shea
Shea’s crowing season with 11 goals in 31 games, adding 4 assists. 4 assists is almost 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 goal. 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.
2012 – 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 his goals are game-winners though.
Fabian Castillo has his “break out” season and finishes 2nd with 6 goals and 3 assists, 2 of the goals and 2 of the assists are game-winners. The Brazilian Jackson with a solid 4 goals and 7 assists. David Ferreira 9 assists. Brek Shea, perhaps distracted by potential transfers, with only 3 goals and 2 assists.
FCD on 39 points finished 6th in the West and missed the playoffs.
2013 – 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.
2014 – 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. Perez 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 then eliminated by Seattle.
2015 – 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 (postseason).
FCD finished with 60 points, tied for the Supporters Shield, but lose out on it via the 2nd tiebreaker (goal difference). FCD knocks off Seattle in round 1 but losses out to Portland in round 2.
2016 – 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 has 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.
2017 – 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. Michael Barrios with an MVP level assist season with 14 (and 3 goals).
Dallas misses the playoffs by 1 point, they actually finishing tied with San Jose at 46 points but missed out on the playoffs via the tiebreaker.
2018 – Maxi Urruti
Urruti tops the goal list for the 3rd straight season but with only 8 goals but he does add 11 assists. The excellent season isn’t enough and he’s traded to Montreal Impact after the season at least partially due to his exciting contract.
Roland Lamah puts up strong numbers with 8 goals and 8 assists but is left unprotected in the expansion draft and is selected by FC Cincinnati. Michael Barrios (6g/6a) and Santiago Mosquera (6g,5a) also have solid seasons.
2019 – Jesus Ferreira
With 8 goals at just 18 years od age, Jesus Ferreira is the youngest Golden Boot winner in franchise history. He also adds 6 assists, which is 2nd in the club assist table.
Zdenek Ondrasek scores 7 goals in the final 8 games of the year to vault up to 2nd in one of the most remarkable host streaks in Dallas history. Dom Badji and Ryan Hollinsgead come in with 6 goals each.
Michael Barrios ties the single-season assist record held by Jason Kreis with 15 assists.