2006 Club by Club
In 2006, the club recorded its highest point total in franchise history, going 16-12-4 for 52 points and earning the top seed in the Western Conference Playoffs for the first time ever. Colin Clarke's side was impressive throughout the year, but feel again for the second straight year in the playoffs on penalties.
Regaining the momentum they had from the year before, FC Dallas again took the West by storm. In their first full season at Pizza Hut Park, Carlos Ruiz led the way with 13 goals on the way to helping his team to a 16-12-4 record and the top seed in the West. In the playoffs, though, the Hoops' proud season would come to a screeching halt as they were again were knocked out in penalties by the Colorado Rapids.
The duo of Carlos Ruiz and Kenny Cooper forged a superb partnership up front, scoring 24 of Dallas’ 48 goals between them. Ruiz bagged 13, and added five assists and was the MLS player of the month for May after scoring six times in five games. Cooper excelled also, as the big targetman won the team’s MVP as won the MLS player of the week for week 16.
Richard Mulrooney also added 9 assists, as he and Ronnie O'Brien [11 assists] proved pivotal in generating scoring opportunities for the lethal strikers to bury. Dario Sala in net also shone, letting in 35 goals in 28 appearances for a goals against average of 1.24 per game.
In 2006, FC Dallas formed exclusive partnerships with Mexican First Division club Tigres de la Universidad Autonoma de Nueva Leon (UANL) and Clube Atletico Paranaense of Brazil’s Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A. These partnerships provide FC Dallas with an avenue to develop philosophies, practices, and training methods, as well as the opportunity to exchange players through loans.
Additionally, these partnerships have seen FCD play an annual home-and-away series against each club. FC Dallas won the inaugural Rio Grande Plate against Tigres in 2006, but the Mexican club claimed the plate in 2007 and 2008. Atletico Paranaense won the inaugural USA-Brazil Challenge in 2007, but 2008 saw FCD claim the title.