As a follow up to our 25th season celebration series naming the top 5 players by position in FCD franchise history, I started a Top 5 FCD Players by Number series.
And we’re at the number 16. Of the traditional 23 man roster numbers, the 16 has seen the least acclaim and success in Dallas.
Around these parts, we think numbers are important, and I had the idea that – if the season didn’t restart – it might be fun to spin the Top 5s a bit and do a Top 5 Players by Number series. Of course, the season did restart so the idea went on the back burner… until now.
Disclaimer: The 25th Season Top 5 Player lists were voted on by a committee. These Top 5 Player by Number lists are just mine. So come at me, bro!
Top 5 FCD Number 16s
As mentioned above, the 16, at least in Dallas, hasn’t really been a number of note, as you will see.
Like most places, the 16 is generally offensive for FCD, most often a reserve striker. But it’s been a defender a little bit too, on the left for no apparent reason.
This was one of the harder lists to make.
|1||Atiba Harris||Harris joined FCD from Chivas USA midway through 2009 in a trade for Marcelo Saragosa and was given the 16 jersey. He wore it for one and a half seasons in Dallas as a forward/wing during the Schellas Hyndman MLS Cup run. Stats in the no. 16 including playoffs: 44 games, 43 starts, 6 goals, and 8 assists. For sure the best player to wear 16 in Dallas, Harris ranked 5th in our All-Time Right Wing/Mid list wearing it.|
|2||Temoc Suarez||A former US U17 and a senior Futsal player, Suarez played three seasons in Dallas as a creative attacking role player. Including playoffs, Suarez played 58 games with 28 starts, 3 goals, and 8 assists under Dave Dir. Released after the 99 season, Suarez played two seasons in the NPSL and five seasons in the USL First Division.|
|3||Aleksey Korol||After a really enticing rookie year (5 goals & 3 assists), Korol faded some in his second season, was traded to the Chicago Fire where he played just 1 game (knee injury), and was out of MLS after 2002. He did play indoors and in the USL until 2007 though. Final stats in the Burn’s 16, including playoffs: 39 games, 15 starts, 7 goals, and 4 assists.|
|4||David Wagenfuhr||Wags was Chris Gbandi’s backup and potential replacement at left back but never became the full-time starter. Famously fit, one FCD offseason he entered a local 10k under the name Ron Burgundy and without any training, placed. Four seasons (out of his five-year career) in the 16 including playoffs: 47 games, 30 starts, 1 goal, and 2 assists.|
|5||Ricardo Pepi||El Tren is just getting started but the 18-year-old is already on this list and might top it fairly quickly… if he doesn’t change jersey numbers. Stats in the 16 jersey so far including playoffs: 26 games, 4 starts, 3 goals, and 1 assist.|
Pepi squeaks in ahead of Matt “Boom Boom” Behncke’s three seasons as a lefty defensive role player (33 games, 25 starts, and 1 goal), Dom Badji’s half of 2018 (10 games, 9 starts, 2 goals, and 1 assist), or Bobby Warshaw’s 3 seasons (32 games, 7 starts, and 1 goal).
What’s your list look like?
#16 – All-Time FCD Roster
|Ricardo Pepi||2019 to Current|
|Coy Craft||2014 to 2017|
|Bobby Warshaw||2011 to 2013|
|Atiba Harris||2009 to 2010|
|David Wagenfuhr||2005 to 2008|
|Matt Behncke||2002 to 2004|
|Aleksey Korol||2000 to 2001|
Side Note: Darren Sawatzky – who played one game for the Burn in 1998 – is now the head coach and Chief Sporting Officer of the Richmond Kickers.
The 17. A number with a fantastic FC Dallas legacy.