2005 Club by Club
2005 was a season of change for Dallas soccer as the FC Dallas era began in the Metroplex. Along with the new name were new uniforms, a new stadium and a new dedication to winning, all of which seemed to resonate with fans. After playing all of the team’s home games at either the Cotton Bowl in Dallas or Dragon Stadium in Southlake, Texas for the first nine and a half seasons of its existence, FC Dallas moved to its new home, Pizza Hut Park, the third soccer-specific stadium in Major League Soccer, on August 6, 2005.
Head coach Colin Clarke used the addition of talented players like Richard Mulrooney, Carlos Ruiz and Greg Vanney to complement established stars like Ronnie O'Brien to turn his team into a MLS Cup contender.
The Hoops came out of the blocks hot jumping out to the league's best record and earning Clarke the right to coach the MLS All-Star Team against Fulham in July. However, just prior to the All-Star break FCD entered what would prove to be a franchise record 11-match unbeaten run that saw it relinquish its spot atop the Western Conference.
A U.S. Open Cup Semifinal win over Chicago on September 14, the team's first-ever win at Pizza Hut Park, served as the impetus for a late season run and gave it a spot in the second Cup Final in team history. FC Dallas would fall to the host Los Angeles Galaxy in the U.S. Open Cup Final and was then eliminated from the Western Conference Semifinals by the Colorado Rapids in a shootout.
The team changed its name to FC Dallas after the conclusion of the 2004 season. As part of the club’s rebranding, new uniforms and a new logo were unveiled along with the name change. The logo features the name FC Dallas and the number 96, signifying the year that the club played its inaugural game, above a drawing of a bull, signifying the kind of Texas cattle that were driven along the North Texas trails throughout the 19th century. The logo features the club's colors of red, white and blue, (all of which can be found in the American flag and the state flag of Texas), and a hint of silver.
The Texas outfits MVP was midfielder Ronnie O’Brien, Carloz Ruiz proved prolific as he took the scoring title and Greg Vanney took the defender of the year award. Additionally Richard Mulrooney won the US soccer foundation humanitarian of the year award, and O’Brien was named on the team’s best XI and included in the MLS all-star game (alongside Eddie Johnson, Scott Garlick, Simo Valakari and Vanney.)