FC Dallas, its fans and the MLS community in general were in mourning today as news got out that former Dallas player Bobby Rhine had died of a heart attack while on vacation with his family in Florida.
Rhine played with the Dallas Burn/FC Dallas from 1998 to 2008, at which time he retired and joined the club's front office. Eventually he took over play-by-play duties for the side's televised matches.
Considered by many to be the face of the franchise, Rhine became one of the most popular members of the FC Dallas family, known for being a hard worker and overall great guy. His voice in the broadcast booth was one of my favorite parts of watching the Hoops play. Colleagues of his speak highly of his willingness to stop to talk and many members of local and national media have already begun to lament his passing.
Within hours of the news getting out, Dallas supporters group The Inferno had organized a small memorial service at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, where a picture of Rhine hangs on the southeast corner of the stadium.
Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor, who played with Rhine at Dallas, expressed his sadness at Rhine's passing by calling Bobby a "consummate professional" and a "team player," echoing the sentiments of many players and fans around the league.
Bobby Rhine was drafted sixth in the 1999 MLS College Draft out of the University of Connecticut. He played mostly midfield and forward positions, scoring 23 goals in 212 appearances for the Hoops over his 10 year career.
Rhine was well loved by fans of the club and will definitely be sorely missed. I'm sad to see him go, especially at so young an age. I wish his family and friends all the best in dealing with this terrible tragedy.
FC Dallas has announced that the FC Dallas foundation will be accepting donations for Rhine's family. He leaves behind a wife and two children.