Top 5 number 26s 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.

Now it’s the 26. Which Johnny Nelson says he wants to make into something special.

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 26s

There’s some serious quality on the 26, but it’s mostly in guys who got assigned the number in their first year or two and later swapped.

RankNameNotes
1Ronnie O’Brien Raise your hand if you remembered that ROB wore the 26 during his first two seasons in Dallas.   After joining from Juventus in 2002, Ronnie O played 11 games with 4 starts scoring 2 goals and adding 2 assists to finish that season. Then, just 6 games and 3 starts into the 2003 Southlake Debacle, Ronnie had his leg broken by Dema Kovalenko.  So in the end, only 17 games wearing the 26 with 7 starts. Our #2 All-Time Right Wing/Mid.
2Clarence Goodson Goodson, our #4 All-Time Center Back, started his rookie year in Dallas (2004) wearing the 20.  But with the addition of Carlos Ruiz in 2005, Goodson swapped to 26 which he wore for just one season before moving to the 11.  That 2005 season in the 26 jersey, Goodson became the first choice FCD center back playing 29 games with 28 starts, 2 goals, and 1 assist. It was probably his best individual season. 
3Johnny NelsonIt’s been just two seasons now for Nelson in Dallas, but he’s shown himself to be MLS starter quality as a natural left back and shut down 1v1 defender. Including playoffs: 22 games, 14 starts and 1 assist. Still a big future and a long career ahead for this 22-year-old.
4Brandon PollardOur #5 All-Time Left Back, Pollard wore the 26 in 1996 – his rookie season – before swapping to the no. 12 in 1997. Pollard was picked by the Burn 3rd overall in the 1996 College Draft and played just 10 games (9 starts) that year because he spent most of it with the US Olympic Team.  Anticipating Pollard’s value and potential, Coach Dave Dir protected Pollard in the 1997 MLS Expansion Draft.
5Anthony WallaceA former US U17 and U20, Wallace signed Generation adidas in 2007 after his freshman season at South Florida. Drafted by Dallas, Wallace played four seasons with the club mostly as a reserve left back, although like many other outside backs he was also capable of playing as a 6.  Numbers in Dallas’ 26 jersey: 15 games and 11 starts. He played four more seasons for Colorado Rapids and one for the Red Bulls before wrapping up his career with a couple of USL seasons at Jacksonville Armada and OKC Energy.

What’s your list look like?

#26 – All-Time FCD Roster

Johnny Nelson2019 to Current
Walker Hume2017
Danny Garcia2013 to 2015
Anthony Wallace2007 to 2010
Clarence Goodson2005
Ronnie O’Brien2002 to 2003
Eric Pogue2001
Dan Popik2001
Adam Throop2001
Matt Napoleon2001
Jon Busch2001
Cole Burgman2001
Brandon Pollard1996

In the year 2001, the number 26 was a backup keeper number and because the Burn only had Matt Jordan on the roster they cycled through a relatively large number of MLS pool keepers giving most of them the 26 jersey.

For some reason I can’t recall, Chris Snitko (who actually played in one game as a sub for Jordan) and Alex Deegan took 22 instead of 26 during their rotations.

Up next?

27.

Another frequent squad number in the MLS 30 man rosters.

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