Top 5 number 21s in FC Dallas history

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.

Time for the 21, which has just seen a massive departure at the top… then it falls off a cliff after that.

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 21s


A number not really known for anything beyond being part of the 23 man squads.

1Michael BarriosThis one was easy, the #1 Right Wing/Mid in club history.  6 seasons in Dallas including 2019 when he tied the club single-season record for assists and 2016’s SS/Cup Double. Dallas numbers including playoffs: 188 games, 163 starts, 31 goals (7th FCD All-Time), and 46 assists (3rd FCD All-Time).  Maybe the easiest top choice in all these rankings as he far and away the best choice at this less sought after number. On the verge of turning 30, Barrios was traded this week to Colorado Rapids.
2Greg VanneyThere’s no question that Vanney was an excellent MLS player over his long career. Vanney was one of the key players in the team during Clarke’s two peak seasons landing at #10 in our All-Time Center Back list. During his two seasons in Dallas, Vanney – who was a late arrival that spring – wore the 21 jersey in the first one before swapping to no. 3.  That first year in the number 21 he made 25 starts with 1 assist.
3Alex YiA former US U17 out of the inaugural class of the USSF’s Bradenton Academy, Yi spent 2 years playing for UCLA (winning Pac-10 Player of the Year) then signed with Royal Antwerp in 2002.  Coming back to MLS in 2005, Dallas landed Yi through a weighted lottery (which was used when Youth Internationals came back to MLS).  Over 4 seasons with FCD, Yi never became the defensive stalwart that was expected. Final numbers in hoops including playoffs: 28 games, 22 starts. 
4Shavar ThomasA Jamaican International, Thomas spent only the rookie year of his 10-year MLS career in Dallas.  After 15 games with 14 starts and 1 goal during the Southlake Debacle, Thomas was traded along with some draft picks to Kansas City for Eric Quill and Carey Talley. 
5Bryan LeyvaAs a 12-year-old, Leyva was famously invited to train with the senior Mexican side during one of El Tri’s camps in Dallas.  Leyva later joined the FCD Academy and was the first Homegrown in club history.  A tiny (listed at a suspect 5’5″) but creative and talented ball-handler, Leyva hit his FCD peak in 2012 with 8 games and 6 starts that year.  With only 1 game in his three prior seasons, it’s safe to say Leyva never reached the level of his youth hype.  Leyva spent two seasons with Chivas in Guadalajara after leaving FCD but never played.

What’s your list look like?

#21 – All-Time FCD Roster

Michael Barrios2015 to 2020
Walter Cabrera2014
London Woodberry2013 to 2014
Bryan Leyva2010 to 2012
Alvaro “Tom” Sanchez2009
Alex Yi2006 to 2008
Greg Vanney2005
Ramon Nunez2004
Shavar Thomas2003
Hamisi Amani-Dove2001
Johann Noetzel2000
Lazo Alavanja1999
Andrew Restrepo1998

Up next?

22. Aka, the Lalas.


    1. They did. But not wearing the 21. Lazo played 1 game in 1999 the season he wore 21. In 2004, the season Ramon wore 21, he played in just 8 games (0 starts) for a total of 103 minutes.

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